United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
HON.JORGE ALONSO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Darnell McKenzie, an Illinois prisoner, brings this pro
se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983, alleging that the Defendant police officers violated
his constitutional rights related to a March 2015 arrest that
led to state criminal charges of which Plaintiff was
acquitted in a jury trial. Defendants moved for summary
judgment, arguing that they had probable cause for Plaintiffs
arrest or are entitled to qualified immunity as to the arrest
and that the facts do not support a federal due process
claim. Plaintiff responded to Defendants' motion. In
light of the recent opinion in Manuel v. City of Joliet,
III, 137 S.Ct. 911 (2017), issued while Defendants'
motion was pending, the Court requested that Defendants
supplement their summary judgment materials and that McKenzie
respond. The parties have complied. For the reasons stated
herein, Defendants' motion for summary judgment is
granted in part and denied in part.
DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS LOCAL RULE 56.1
Rule 56.1 sets out a procedure for presenting facts pertinent
to a party's request for summary judgment pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. Specifically, Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) requires
the moving party to submit "a statement of material
facts as to which the moving party contends there is no
genuine issue and that entitle the moving party to judgment
as a matter of law." Petty v. City of Chi,
ISA F.3d 416, 420 (7th Cir. 2014). Each paragraph of the
movant's statement of facts must include "specific
references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other
supporting materials relied upon to support the facts set
forth in that paragraph." L.R. 56.1(a). The opposing
party must file a response to each numbered paragraph in the
moving party's statement, "including, in the case of
any disagreement, specific references to the affidavits,
parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied
upon." L.R. 56.1 (b)(3)(B). "All material facts set
forth in the statement required of the moving party will be
deemed to be admitted unless controverted by the statement of
the opposing party." L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(C). The nonmoving
party may also present a separate statement of additional
facts "consisting of short numbered paragraphs, of any
additional facts that require the denial of summary judgment,
including references to the affidavits, parts of the record,
and other supporting materials relied upon." L.R.
56.1(b)(3)(C). "[I]f additional material facts are
submitted by the opposing party . . ., the moving party may
submit a concise reply in the form prescribed in that section
for a response." L.R. 56.1(a).
McKenzie is proceeding pro se, Defendants served him
with a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for
Summary Judgment" as required by Northern District of
Illinois Local Rule 56.2. (Dkt. 75.) The notice explained how
to respond to Defendants' summary judgment motion and
Rule 56.1 Statement and cautioned McKenzie that the Court
would deem Defendants' factual contentions admitted if he
failed to follow the procedures delineated in Local Rule
56.1. (Id. at 2.)
response to Defendants' submissions, McKenzie filed a
"motion in answer to summary judgment" (Dkt. 77), a
"motion in answer to memorandum of law support of their
motion for summary judgment" (Dkt. 78), and a
"Local Rule 56.1 of Uncontested Material Facts"
first "motion in answer" attaches several exhibits,
including an affidavit, "under penalty of perjury under
the laws of the United States, " in which he asserts
that "every thing[sic] [he] said in the motion in Answer
to Summary Judgement is true about Chicago police
officers." (Dkt. 77, pg. 33.) On February 3, 2017,
Defendants responded to each of McKenzie's submissions,
and filed a reply in support of their motion. (Dkt. 82, 83,
party, strictly speaking, complied with Local Rule 56.
McKenzie did not directly respond to Defendants' Local
Rule 56.1 statement "with a concise response" to
each numbered paragraph in Defendants' statement.
See L.R. 56.1(b). Nor did he generally include
citations to the evidence when listing his own facts.
Defendants responded to Plaintiffs statement of uncontested
material facts, but the response was not "concise"
and was not completely "in the form prescribed [in L.R.
56.1(b)] for a response." L.R. 56.1(a). Defendants'
response is overly argumentative and did not respond to all
facts included within McKenzie's statement. For example,
in his SOF ¶ 6, Plaintiff in part stated that the
officers' duty belts and vests were obscured by other
clothing; Defendants did not address that portion of the
statement. (Dkt. 84, pgs. 5-6.) Similarly, Defendants
repeatedly assert that McKenzie's arrest was supported by
probable cause, even when this does not directly correspond
to McKenzie's statements. (See, e.g., PL SOF
¶ 14 ("Plaintiff was found not guilty at trial for
P.S.M.V. despite the officers alleged perjury."), and
Def. Resp. to ¶ 14 (including "Probable cause
existed for Plaintiffs March 26, 2015 arrest.").
the issues with the parties' compliance with Local Rule
56.1, the Court, consistent with the standards governing
summary judgment and McKenzie's pro se status,
has liberally construed McKenzie's submissions. Given
McKenzie's failure to respond to Defendants' L.R.
56.1 statement, the Court accepts Defendants'
"uncontroverted version of the facts to the extent that
it is supported by evidence in the record." Keeton
v. Morningstar, Inc., 661 F.3d 877, 880 (7th Cir. 2012).
However, the Court will not accept Defendants' version of
the facts, to the extent that they are unsupported by the
cited evidence or to the extent that McKenzie has identified
contrary evidence in the record or fact disputes to which he
could properly testify. The Court construes the resulting
record in the light most favorable to McKenzie. Sistrunk
v. Khan, 931 F.Supp.2d 849, 854 (N.D. 111. 2013);
Fed.R.Evid. 602. With these standards in mind, the Court
turns to the relevant facts.
is an Illinois prisoner currently housed at Dixon
Correctional Center. (Dkt. 73, Def. Stmt. ¶ 5.)
Defendants Omar Stover and Shikema Teague are police officers
for the Chicago Police Department, who, on the morning of
March 26, 2015, were assigned to the 15th District.
(Id. ¶¶ 6, 7, 12.) Officers Stover and
Teague and another officer, Nathaniel Warner, who was not
named as a Defendant in this case,  were partnered and
patrolling in a gray unmarked Chicago police vehicle driven
by Officer Stover. (Id. ¶¶ 8, 13.) The
vehicle had municipal license plates ("M-plates")
and had siren and emergency light capabilities, through
lights located in the headlights, windshield, and rear and
side windows. (Id. ¶¶ 23, 22.) The
officers wore civilian clothes and black, bulletproof vests
embroidered with their last names and district number and
"police" written in bold white lettering on the
back, as well as large silver stars containing their badge
numbers (Id. ¶¶ 10, 11), but the parties
appear to dispute whether the vests may have been visible or
partially obscured by sweaters or other outer clothing.
(See PI. M. in Answer to Summary Judgment, Dkt. 77,
pg. 3; Dkt. 79, PI. Stmt., ¶ 6; Dkt. 73-4, PI. Dep., pg.
62:9-10 ("[A]t the time I did not see no vests.");
pg. 61:24-62:1 ("Up under - he had - he had a vest
police officers pulled into a Marathon gas station at 5107
West Madison Street, at the intersection of Madison Street
and Leamington Avenue. (Dkt. 73 ¶ 13.) McKenzie was
already at the gas station attempting to inflate the flat
rear tire of a car with the station's air pump.
(Id. ¶¶ 12, 14.) Defendants saw McKenzie
turn toward their vehicle (although McKenzie disputes seeing
them), immediately give up his efforts to inflate the
completely flat tire, and get in the driver's seat of his
car. (Id. ¶¶ 15, 16.) The officers,
finding McKenzie's behavior unusual, ran the license
plate of the car McKenzie drove through LEADS using the
officers' in-car computer. (Id. ¶ 18.) Two
successive searches revealed that the car had been reported
stolen. (Id. ¶¶ 18, 19.)
plodding car chase ensued, as McKenzie drove his hobbled car
down Leamington Avenue toward Monroe Street, while the
officers pursued in their vehicle. (Id. ¶ 19.)
The officers observed McKenzie drive through the stop sign at
Monroe before he turned left onto Monroe Street and then
pulled to the side of the road and stopped the
(Id. ¶¶ 20, 21.) The officers stopped
their vehicle just behind the car McKenzie drove, and exited
with, according to McKenzie, guns drawn. (Id.
¶¶ 26, 27; Dkt. 77, pg. 3.) As they approached,
McKenzie again began to drive the disabled car east on
Monroe, and the officers returned to their vehicle and
followed. (Def. Stmt. ¶¶ 30-32.) At the end of that
block, McKenzie pulled to the side of the road and then leapt
out of the car and ran northbound, toward Madison Street.
(Id. ¶ 33.) Officer Warner pursued McKenzie on
foot, while Officer Stover drove the squad car to Madison to
block McKenzie's route. (Id. ¶¶ 34,
35.) Officer Teague remained with the reportedly-stolen car.
(Id. ¶ 36.) McKenzie ran toward the
officers' vehicle (and, apparently, a marked police
vehicle that had approached from another direction) and, when
ordered to do so, got onto the ground and was handcuffed and
arrested. (Id. ¶¶ 37-40; Dkt. 77, at 3.)
insists that he next immediately protested that he had not
recognized his pursuers as police officers and, once informed
that the car he was driving was stolen, insisted that he was
innocent of any wrongdoing. (Dkt. 78, pgs. 3-4.) McKenzie
insists that the officers falsely reported what he said,
stating in both the ensuing police report and testimony at
McKenzie's probable cause hearing that McKenzie had
confessed to fleeing because he knew the car was stolen and
that he knew his driver's license had been revoked.
(Id. at 4-5.) McKenzie was charged with possession
of a stolen motor vehicle, see 625 ILCS
5/4-103(a)(1), and was issued five traffic citations,
including driving on a suspended or revoked license. (Def.
Stmt. ¶¶ 45-46.)
ensuing criminal trial, Officers Stover and Weaver testified.
(Id. ¶ 49 (Stover); Dkt. 84-1 (Warner).)
McKenzie also testified. He explained that, on March 26,
2015, he had been working for his uncle's car repair
business, and a client had dropped off the car, with its
keys, for repair of a flat rear tire. (Dkt. 73-9, pgs.
4:23-5:11; 5:20-8:22.) McKenzie had taken it to the gas station
to attempt to repair the tire with two "fix-a-flat"
cans, but gave up when the tire would not hold air after
those attempts. (Id. at 8:23-9:20.) Although he saw
a vehicle tailing him after he left the station, he did not
realize that it was a police vehicle; he ran when he saw
three individuals he did not know, with weapons drawn,
approach him in the disabled car. (Id. at
11:14-12:20; 14:2-17; see also Dkt. 79, ¶ 8.)
The car McKenzie drove had been reported stolen by its owner
less than two weeks earlier, on March 15, 2015, and the owner
had not ...