Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, First Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Nos. 17 CR 1274601
Honorable Domenica Stephenson, Judge, presiding.
Attorneys for Appellant: Kimberly M. Foxx, State's
Attorney, of Chicago (Alan J. Spellberg, John E. Nowak, and
Joseph Alexander, Assistant State's Attorneys, of
counsel), for the People.
Attorneys for Appellee: Marc E. Gottreich, of Gottreich Grace
& Thompson, of Chicago, for appellee.
JUSTICE HYMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Lavin and Justice Pucinski concur
in the judgment and opinion.
1 Police officers found a firearm under Terrence Davis's
driver's seat while conducting an inventory search
incident to impounding Davis's car, and they charged him
with several firearm offenses. Davis filed a motion to
suppress the firearm. The trial court granted Davis's
motion, finding that the officers improperly impounded the
car. The State filed a certificate of impairment and
appealed, arguing that the trial court erred because state
law required the officers to impound Davis's car after he
admitted to driving with a revoked license and could not
provide proof of insurance. Davis contends that impoundment
was improper, as the officers failed to request he show them
proof of insurance. We affirm.
3 During a routine patrol. Chicago police officer Jamel
Pankey saw Terrence Davis waiting to turn left and talking on
his cell phone. Pankey followed Davis and pulled up next to
him. Pankey warned Davis about talking on his phone while
driving. Davis complied, stopped talking on his phone, and
4 Officer Jordan Smith, Pankey's partner, told Pankey
that he recognized Davis from their daily briefing about
people of interest in the area. Smith knew Davis's name
and date of birth and entered it into the onboard computer
system. Smith learned that Davis's driving license had
5 About 30 minutes later, both Smith and Pankey stood outside
their car. Pankey was talking to a person who flagged them
down on an unrelated matter. Smith saw Davis driving slowly
on Morgan Street and waved to him to pull over. Davis parked
in front of the officers' car and walked up to Smith.
Pankey joined the conversation. They told Davis that his
license was revoked and he was not permitted to drive. At
that time, Davis failed to produce either a valid
driver's license or valid insurance card.
6 Chicago police Sergeant Dennis O'Keefe, also on patrol,
noticed Smith and Pankey had stopped Davis. O'Keefe went
to help Smith and Pankey. Smith told O'Keefe that they
had seen Davis driving and knew his driver's license had
been revoked. O'Keefe asked Davis if he had a valid
license; Davis said he did not. O'Keefe told Smith and
Pankey to arrest Davis for driving with a revoked license.
The officers handcuffed Davis, put him in the back of a squad
car, and took him to the police station.
7 Several unknown men offered to move the car. O'Keefe
told them they could not take an uninsured car. One man
started walking quickly towards the car, but O'Keefe got
to Davis's car first and drove it to the police station.
At the station, O'Keefe conducted an inventory search.
During the search, O'Keefe recovered a firearm from under
the driver's seat.
8 Davis was charged with several firearm offenses and moved
to suppress, which the trial court granted, finding
insufficient evidence to show that the car was parked
illegally. During argument on the State's motion to
reconsider, the State pointed the court to the Illinois
Vehicle Code and argued, "if you look at transcript
pages 36 and 54, that the defendant did not provide them with
any valid insurance for the vehicle" requiring that
"the vehicle shall be immediately impounded." The
trial court denied the motion to reconsider, finding, again,
that the car was "legally parked" and that the
court "didn't hear any testimony that it was
required to be impounded, that was pursuant to any type of
statute or ordinance or anything like that." The State
timely filed a certificate of impairment.
10 The State challenges the trial court's ruling on four
grounds: (i) the officers had reasonable suspicion to conduct
a Terry stop (see Terry v. Ohio,392 U.S. 1
(1968)); (ii) the officers had probable cause to arrest Davis
after he admitted to driving with a revoked driver's
license; (iii) the officers properly impounded Davis's
car for driving with a revoked license and no proof of
insurance; and (iv) the inventory search was proper. Davis
only responds to the State's third argument, contending
that the impoundment violated section 6-303(e) of the