United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
W. GETTLEMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Sade Porter has brought a five count amended complaint
against Chicago Police Department Officers Richard Caro and
Benjamin Garcia and the City of Chicago. Count I asserts a
claim for illegal search and seizure in violation of the
Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and
failure to intervene. Count II is a claim for excessive
force, also in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and failure
to intervene. Count III is a state law claim for false
imprisonment and Count IV is a state law claim for battery.
Count V is a claim for indemnification brought against the
City. Plaintiff moved for partial summary judgment on her
illegal seizure and false imprisonment claims, asking the
court to find that defendants are not entitled to qualified
immunity for individual liability. Defendants opposed that
motion, which the court denied, but failed to file a
cross-motion for summary judgment, apparently due to an
oversight. Defendants now move for summary judgment on all
counts. Because, as discussed below, practically all the
material facts in this case are hotly disputed, the court
denies defendants' motion, which borders on the
case is notable for the number of disputed material facts and
the degree to which those facts vary. The following
undisputed facts comprise a brief outline of the case.
Additional disputed facts will be discussed, and noted,
throughout this opinion. On July 17, 2015, Officer Caro and
Officer Garcia (''defendants'') were
patrolling a two-block area that encompassed the intersection
of West Huron Street and North Homan Avenue. Defendants drove
an umarked police car. While they were patrolling, defendants
noticed plaintiff standing at or near the intersection of
West Huron Street and North Homan Avenue. At some point after
that, plaintiff walked in the opposite direction of
defendants. When plaintiff started walking away from
defendants they drove in her direction and attempted to get
her attention, but plaintiff ignored them. Defendants
eventually made contact with plaintiff, placed her in
handcuffs, and detained her in the back of their vehicle
while they took turns searching the immediate area for
narcotics. None were found. Defendants asked plaintiff for
her name and identification, but she refused to comply. After
some period of time, defendants informed plaintiff that she
was free to go and she did just that.
judgment is appropriate when the moving papers and affidavits
show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact
and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322 (1986). Once a moving party has met its burden,
the nonmovant must go beyond the pleadings and set forth
specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Becker v.
Tenenbaum-Hill Assoc., Inc., 914 F.2d 107, 110 (7th Cir.
1990). The court considers the evidence as a whole and draws
all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the
party opposing the motion. Green v. Carlson, 826
F.2d 647, 651 (7th Cir. 1987).
genuine issue of material fact exists when ''the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.'' Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The
nonmoving party must, however, Ado more than simply show that
there is some metaphysical doubt about the material
facts.'' Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986).
''The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in
support of the [nonmoving party's] position will be
insufficient, there must be some evidence on which the jury
could reasonably find for the [nonmoving party].''
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. Disputed facts are
material when they might affect the outcome of the suit.
First Ind. Bank v. Baker, 957 F.2d 506, 507-08 (7th
respect to the seizure, there are two questions the court
must answer. See Pike v. Foster, 2016 WL 537940, *3
(N.D. Ill. Feb. 11, 2016). The first is whether defendants
had a reasonable suspicion to stop plaintiff. The second is
whether the subsequent seizure, including handcuffing and
detaining plaintiff, was reasonable. Id. According
to defendants, the answer to both of these inquiries is yes.
officers may conduct a brief investigatory stop of a person
when they have reasonable, articulable suspicion that
criminal activity is afoot.'' Id. at *4
(citing Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 30 (1968)).
Reasonable suspicion is less demanding than probable cause.
Id. (citing United States. v. Sokolow, 490
U.S. 1, 7 (1989)). There must be ''at least a minimum
level of objective justification for making the
stop.'' Illinois v. Wardlow, 528 U.S. 119,
123 (2000). This standard requires more than an
''inarticulate hunch.'' Terry, 392
U.S. at 22. Courts Aexamine the totality of the circumstances
known to the police at the time of the stop, including the
experience of the officers and the behavior and
characteristics of the suspect.'' Pike, 2016
WL 537940 at *4 (citing United States. v. Lenoir,
318 F.3d 725, 729 (7th Cir. 2003)). ''When
determining whether an investigatory stop was unreasonable
under the Fourth Amendment, courts examine (a) 'whether
the police were aware of specific and articulable facts
giving rise to a reasonable suspicion'; and (b)
'whether the degree of the intrusion was reasonably
related to the known facts.''' Pike,
2016 WL 5347940 at *3 (quoting United States. v.
Tilmon, 19 F.3d 1221, 1224 (7th Cir. 1994); United
States. v. Bullock, 632 F.3d 1004, 1012 (7th Cir.
argue that, even viewing the facts in plaintiff's favor,
they had a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity was
afoot based on the totality of the circumstances surrounding
their interactions with plaintiff. The problem with
defendants' argument is that it is based on the facts as
they present them which, despite being described by
defendants as undisputed, are in fact hotly contested.
defendants contend that they saw plaintiff standing by
herself on the corner by a bus stop for several minutes,
including after the bus had passed, which defendants found
suspicious. Plaintiff, however, does not concede these facts.
According to plaintiff, she and her girlfriend briefly went
to a friend's house (which was on the corner where
defendants observed plaintiff) and left to walk to the ...