United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Amy J. St. Eve United States District Court Judge
Vandetta Redwood (“Defendant”) moves the Court to
suppress identification evidence and testimony as fruit of an
unlawful arrest in violation of her Fourth Amendment rights
and unnecessarily suggestive law enforcement identification
procedures. The Court denies Defendant’s motion for the
reasons set forth below.
The CPD Investigation and Defendant’s Arrest
charges against Defendant are premised on events that took
place on April 28, 2014, during a fight among high school
students. Defendant is charged with giving D.P., her then
14-year old cousin, a loaded firearm and telling her to shoot
another 14-year old girl. D.P. then used the firearm to shoot
two teenage girls, killing one of them.
eyewitnesses identified D.P. as the shooter. Shortly after
the shooting, a police officer stopped D.P. a few blocks away
from the scene because she matched the description of the
shooter. Eyewitnesses identified D.P. as the shooter, and CPD
officers took her into custody. At the police station, D.P.
waived her Miranda rights. Officers then interviewed
her with her mother present and videotaped the interview.
During the interview, D.P. admitted to shooting the two
girls. D.P. admitted that Donnell Flora (her uncle),
Defendant Redwood, whom she referred to as her “auntie,
” her cousin and her friends went to the scene of the
shooting with her. She said that Donnell Flora initially gave
her the gun, and then Redwood took the gun from her.
D.P.’s mother then interjected and said “and
Vendetta [Redwood] passed it back to you.” Although
D.P.’s mother did not witness this event because she
was not present at the scene of the shooting, she told the
officers that D.P.’s friends and family members who
were present at the scene had told her what had happened.
the interview, the officers and D.P.’s mother left the
police station. A large group of D.P.’s friends and
family had gathered outside the station, including Defendant
Redwood. D.P.’s mother then identified Defendant
Redwood, and the police arrested her. The police also
arrested D.P.’s uncle, Donnell Flora.
police then took Defendant Redwood’s arrest photo and
led her to an interview room where they read her her
Miranda rights. Defendant waived her rights and
spoke to the officers. During the questioning, she denied
that she was at the scene of the shooting. Defendant said
“I came down there later on that day after it [the
after the shooting, the police also received a cell phone
video of the incident that a witness filmed. (GX4.) The
police and the government showed a number of witnesses both
an unaltered version of the video and a slowed version,
one-fourth the speed of the unaltered. The Court has observed
both videos numerous times.
Defendant’s Federal Charges
federal government began investigating Defendant in
approximately December 2014. On February 10, 2016, a federal
grand jury returned a two-count indictment (the
“Indictment”) against Defendant. (R. 1.) Count
One charges Defendant with transferring a handgun and
ammunition, namely, a loaded Smith & Wesson, Model 642
Airweight, .38 special caliber revolver, bearing serial
number CRZ6547, to Minor A, knowing and having reasonable
cause to believe that Minor A was a juvenile, in that she had
not attained eighteen years of age, and knowing and having
reasonable cause to believe that Minor A intended to carry
and otherwise possess and discharge and otherwise use the
handgun and ammunition in the commission of a crime of
violence, namely first degree murder, aggravated battery with
a firearm, and aggravated discharge of a firearm, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(x)(1)(A), (B) and
924(a)(6)(B)(ii). (Id.) Count Two charges Defendant
with knowingly possessing in and affecting interstate
commerce a firearm, namely, the same handgun identified above
in Count One, which firearm had traveled in interstate
commerce prior to Defendant’s possession of the
firearm, within a distance of 1, 000 feet of the grounds of
Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary School and Visitation
Catholic School, a place that Defendant knew and had
reasonable cause to believe was a school zone, in violation
of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(q)(2)(A) and 924(a)(4).
moves the Court to suppress “trial testimony about
out-of-court and in-court identifications, [1)] on the ground
that identification evidence as [sic] the fruit of an
unlawful arrest in violation of the Fourth Amendment and [2)]
on the grounds that law enforcement officers used
identification procedures that were unnecessarily
suggestive.” (R. 45 at 1.) The Court addresses each
argument in turn.
Defendant’s Arrest was Supported ...