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United States v. Rule

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

April 3, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
DEMONE RULE

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          JOHN ROBERT BLAKEY JUDGE.

         On June 28, 2016, Defendant Demone Rule ("Defendant") was indicted for unlawful possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e)(1). Indictment [1]. The firearm at issue was allegedly recovered from Defendant's waistband following a December 27, 2015 traffic stop that ultimately resulted in his arrest.

         On November 21, 2016, Defendant moved to quash his arrest and suppress all subsequently derived evidence, including the firearm and incriminating statements Defendant made to police. Def's Mot. Quash & Supp. [17]. Defendant claimed that his traffic stop and ensuing arrest were unlawful under the Fourth Amendment, and consequently, all evidence derived therefrom constituted "fruit of the poisonous tree" under Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U.S. 471 (1963), and its progeny.

         The Court held an evidentiary hearing on March 13, 2017, during which it heard sworn testimony from Defendant and the three police officers involved in Defendant's arrest. At the conclusion of the hearing, after considering the parties' written submissions [17, 21] and oral arguments, the Court orally denied Defendant's motion. This Memorandum Opinion supplements the Court's oral ruling.

         The Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law based upon the evidence introduced at the evidentiary hearing:

         I. Findings of Fact

         1. On the evening of December 27, 2015, Defendant entered his car, which was located in a parking lot at the intersection of West Madison Street and South Lotus Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Tr. [25] 3:11-19.

         2. After entering his vehicle, Defendant drove out the south exit of the parking lot, into the alley bounded by West Madison Street to the north, West Monroe Street to the south, South Lotus Avenue to the east, and South Central Avenue to the west. Id. at 3:20-23, 15:19-16:21.

         3. On the evening of December 27, 2015, Chicago Police Department Officers Andrew Hamick, Joseph Ramirez, and Kevin Graney were patrolling Chicago's 15th District in a single police vehicle in the vicinity of the 5500 block of West Madison Avenue. Id. at 29:2-8, 43:5-10, 54:8-10, 67:7-10, 78:8-17.

         4. Officer Ramirez was driving the police vehicle. Officer Graney was sitting in the front passenger seat. Officer Hamick was sitting in the rear passenger compartment. Id. at 29:9-12, 54:14-15, 66:17-23, 77:24-25.

         5. The vehicle used by Officers Hamick, Ramirez, and Graney was unmarked, but possessed working emergency lights and sirens. Id. at 29:13-15, 42:10-15, 66:13-16, 77:18-21.

         6. During the course of their patrol, Officers Hamick, Ramirez, and Graney entered the western ingress of the alley bounded by West Madison Street to the north, West Monroe Street to the south, South Lotus Avenue to the east, and South Central Avenue to the west. Id. at 43:11-14, 67:11-17, 78:14-15.

         7. As the officers proceeded eastbound in the alley, Officers Hamick and Ramirez observed Defendant's vehicle exit the parking lot in front of their police vehicle and proceed eastbound. Id. at 29:18-30:23, 43:15-44:1, 78:18-79:8.

         8. As Defendant and the officers proceeded eastbound, Officers Hamick, Ramirez, and Graney observed Defendant cross South Lotus Avenue and enter the western ingress of the alley bounded by West Madison Street to the north, West Monroe Street to the south, South Lockwood Avenue to the east, and South Lotus Avenue to the west. Id. at 44:2-8, 54:16-22, 67:22-68:5, 79:9-12.

         9. Officers Hamick, Ramirez, and Graney followed Defendant across South Lotus Avenue. Id. at 44:9-10, 68:11-12.

         10. Officers Hamick, Ramirez, and Graney then observed Defendant drive through the alley and exit the eastern egress of the alley onto South Lockwood Avenue. Id. at 44:15-20, 45:11-12, 68:13-16, 79:9-19.

         11. Between the time that Defendant crossed South Lotus Avenue until he exited the alley onto South Lockwood Avenue, Officers Hamick, Ramirez, and Graney did not observe Defendant park or stop to load or unload passengers or goods. Id. at 32:11-22, 44:23-25, 68:17-24, 79:20-24.

         12. Officers Hamick, Ramirez, and Graney observed Defendant, upon reaching South Lockwood Avenue, exit the alley and proceed south on South Lockwood Avenue. Id. at 45:15-16, 79:9-12.

         13. After Defendant turned onto South Lockwood Avenue, Officers Hamick, Ramirez, and Graney determined that Defendant had unlawfully utilized the alley as a throughway. Id. at 45:13-14, 69:7-9, 80:5-7.

         14. As Defendant proceeded south on South Lockwood Avenue, Officer Ramirez activated the police vehicle's emergency lights and sirens. Id. at 45:15-17, 69:15-18, 80:8-11, 89:9-14.

         15. After Officer Ramirez activated the police vehicle's emergency lights and sirens, Defendant pulled to the western side of South Lockwood Avenue, between West Adams Street and West Quincy Street, and stopped his vehicle. Id. at 45:18-23, 69:19-70:6, 80:8-20.

         16. After Defendant stopped his vehicle, Officers Hamick, Ramirez, and Graney exited their police vehicle and approached Defendant's vehicle on foot. Id. at 45:24-46:1, 70:7-8, 80:21-23.

         17. At the time, Officers Hamick, Ramirez, and Graney were each wearing variations of the standard Chicago Police Department uniform. Id. at 42:8-9, 42:17-20, 56:22-23, 66:6-12, 70:9-10, 77:12-17.

         18. As Officers Hamick, Ramirez, and Graney approached Defendant's vehicle, Defendant drove off and fled southbound on South Lockwood Avenue. Id. at 46:2-6, 70:11-15, 80:24-81:4.

         19. After Defendant drove away, Officers Hamick, Ramirez, and Graney returned to their police vehicle to give ...


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