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Bailey v. City of Chicago

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

March 6, 2015

EUGENE BAILEY, Plaintiff-Appellant,
CITY OF CHICAGO, et al., Defendants-Appellees

Argued: November 12, 2014.

Page 690

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 10 C 5735-- Thomas M. Durkin, Judge.

For Eugene Bailey, Plaintiff - Appellant: Kenneth N. Flaxman, Attorney, Joel A. Flaxman, Attorney, Law Office of Kenneth N. Flaxman P.C., Chicago, IL.

For CITY OF CHICAGO, a municipal corporation, WILLIAM SULLIVAN, Detective, Star Number 21321, MICHELLE MOORE-GROSE, Detective, Defendants - Appellees: Justin A. Houppert, Attorney, City of Chicago Law Department, Chicago, IL.

Before EASTERBROOK, MANION, and SYKES, Circuit Judges.


Page 691

Manion, Circuit Judge.

Eugene Bailey was detained for 23 days while police investigated his role in a schoolyard brawl that resulted in the death of another student. The charges against him were ultimately dropped after the investigation revealed that five other persons, but not Bailey, were involved in the fight. Following his release, Bailey sued the City of Chicago and two police officers for malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), and violations of his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants on each of the claims, and Bailey appealed. We affirm.

I. Background

On September 24, 2009, a fight broke out among rival groups of students at Fenger High School (Fenger) in Chicago that resulted in the death of Derrion Albert and injuries to another student, Vashion Bullock. Chicago detectives William Sullivan and Michele Moore-Grose (who, along

Page 692

with the City, have been named as co-defendants) were assigned to the case. The question before us is whether their investigation of Eugene Bailey (the plaintiff here) was properly conducted, or if his detention was unreasonable or excessive.

The major break in the investigation happened within hours of the fight when the investigators obtained video footage showing a number of individuals kicking, punching, and stomping Albert--who would die shortly afterward from the resulting injuries. Relevant to this case is footage from that video of an attacker in red and black shorts and a black polo shirt who punched Albert as he tried to stand up. The detectives showed the video to Chicago police officer Dorothy Massey, who was assigned to Fenger and worked there for several years. Massey identified Bailey and another student as assailants in the video. She claimed that she had known Bailey for eighteen months, and recognized his face in the video. They also showed the video to Derrell Bramlett, a Fenger student (and suspect at the time) who witnessed the fight. Bramlett identified Bailey as one of the attackers and told detectives that he knew him from school. Additionally, he told the detectives that, earlier in the day, Bailey had been involved in a fight with Bullock, who was the student injured in the brawl.

Based on these identifications, the detectives arrested Bailey and brought him in for questioning at approximately 9 p.m. on September 26. He denied involvement and claimed that he was at his brother's house at the time of the brawl. Pressed for the names of people who could corroborate this, Bailey stated that the only person who saw him at the house was the nine-year#x2D; old son of his brother's girlfriend, as the brother and girlfriend were both asleep at the time.

The interview was interrupted when six members of Fenger's staff arrived at the police station. The detectives handcuffed Bailey's left hand to the wall before leaving him in the room. After watching the video, two Fenger staffers, assistant principal Ali Muhammad and security officer Tyrone Ento-Nichols, identified Bailey in the video. The other four staffers did not recognize the individual with the red and black shorts in the video.

Shortly after midnight on September 27, the detectives resumed questioning Bailey. They informed him that he had " a pretty weak alibi" and asked him for the name of his brother's girlfriend. They also told him that staff members identified him as the person wearing red shorts and punching the victim. Bailey once again denied that it was him in the video. After ten minutes, they finished questioning him and handcuffed him to the wall once again.

Three other suspects were arrested during the early morning of September 27. Later that morning, the detectives sent the video to the U.S. Secret Service to enhance the footage and to obtain still ...

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