Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Obtained summary judgment in favor of two police officers accused of excessive force and wrongful death. The plaintiff, the mother of a man shot and killed by police, filed a Civil Rights lawsuit alleging that on August 29, 2015, the officers shot her son in a manner that constituted an unjustified and excessive use of force.  The plaintiff sought $3 million in damages.

In this case, the officers witnessed a drive-by shooting on the southwest side of Chicago. Following the shooting, the offending vehicle, driven by the plaintiff’s son, fled the scene, striking several parked cars in the process.  When the officers caught up to the vehicle, the driver reversed into their car and then continued forward into a parking lot.  Video footage obtained from a security camera located inside the parking lot captured this portion of the encounter, which included the moment that the officers entered the parking lot on foot and fired their weapons at the driver.  While in the lot, the officers observed the front driver’s side window of the offending vehicle, which was previously raised, begin to lower. The officers, believing that the driver had lowered the window to fire at them, discharged their weapons, fatally striking him. The entire incident, beginning with the officers’ observation of the drive-by shooting and ending with their use of deadly force against the driver in the parking lot, lasted approximately 90 seconds. The officers moved for summary judgment arguing that the undisputed facts, supported by video footage, established that their use of deadly force against decedent was legally justified because, at the time they fired their weapons, the officers reasonably believed that such force was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to themselves and to others.  The Court, in a written opinion, granted the motion and the case was dismissed with prejudice.

As second chair, secured a defense verdict in favor of the City of Chicago.  The trial involved charges of wrongful death against the City and a Chicago police officer in respect to an officer involved shooting that occurred in December of 2015.  There were also claims that one of the plaintiffs was falsely arrested after the shooting.  The decedent’s estate sought damages between $12-$25 million.  After a three-week trial, the jury was asked to answer a special interrogatory during its deliberations.  In response to the special interrogatory, the jury found that the officer’s use of deadly force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily injury.  Based upon that finding, the court entered judgment in favor of the defense.

Assisted with trial preparation in a case that obtained a defense verdict in favor of municipal clients, who faced multiple charges, along with a demand for significant monetary damages. In this case, the police officers responded to a traffic accident where they encountered the plaintiff, who had been involved in the accident. Plaintiff became combative on scene, to the point where several nearby civilians had to assist the police officers in holding the plaintiff down so that he could be handcuffed. Plaintiff alleged that the officers kicked, punched, tasered and pepper sprayed him without justification, causing him significant and permanent injuries. The officers maintained that the only force applied was a taser, which was reasonable under the circumstances. Plaintiff claimed the officers used excessive force, violated his First Amendment rights, and maliciously prosecuted him. The plaintiff demanded significant monetary damages for his physical injuries as well as for time spent in custody. After one hour of deliberations, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of the officers and the municipality on all counts.

Secured a defense verdict in favor of their client. In this case, the plaintiff alleged that a Chicago police officer shot and killed the decedent without legal justification.  Moreover, the plaintiff charged that the gun recovered by the police at the scene was “planted” to justify the shooting.  After a two-week trial, plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for $15 million.  The jury deliberated for eight hours before returning a defense verdict.