police4aqi

Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Ye Olde Driving While Black (DWB)

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As stated in previous post, I will only be posting sporadically from here on out, but I had some free time tonight.

The first June 2013 case that struck my fancy is here.

Quote:

Plaintiff Terrence G. Cleveland is an African-American male who was born in 1986. [1] ¶ 4. On the morning of October 17, 2010, at approximately 8:40 a.m., Plaintiff was driving a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am along West 87th Street near Naper/Plainfield Road in Naperville, Illinois. Id. ¶ 6. The car was owned by and registered to Plaintiff’s mother, Lolita Cleveland, who lived in nearby Bolingbrook, Illinois. Id. Plaintiff was driving the car to his parents’ home in Bolingbrook, id., and was doing so in a lawful fashion. Id. ¶ 7. There were no outstanding warrants for Plaintiff or his mother. Id. ¶¶ 7-8.

Defendant Luke Swanson, a police officer employed by the City of Naperville, Illinois, observed Plaintiff driving the Grand Am on the morning of October 17, 2010. See id. ¶¶ 5, 9. Defendant Swanson had a police dispatcher check the license plate on the Grand Am to see if there was any reason for him to stop the vehicle. Id. ¶ 9. The dispatcher ran the license plate number and reported to Defendant Swanson that the Grand Am was registered to a “Lola Cleveland” and further reported that “Lola Cleveland” was “clear,” meaning that there was no basis for Swanson to stop “Lola Cleveland.” Id. ¶ 10.
Defendant Swanson asked the dispatcher to report to him the name and status of a male person in his late teens or early twenties who lived at the same address as the owner of the Grand Am. Id. ¶ 11. The dispatcher reported that a man named Theodore Cleveland, born in 1985, lived at the same address as the Grand Am’s owner. Id. ¶ 12. The dispatcher informed Defendant Swanson that Theodore Cleveland’s driver’s license had been revoked. Id.

On the basis of this report from the dispatcher, Defendant Swanson activated the lights on the police car he was driving and pulled over Plaintiff. Id. ¶ 13. Defendant Swanson approached the Grand Am and asked Plaintiff to provide his license and insurance information. Id. ¶ 14. Plaintiff complied with Defendant Swanson’s request. Id. ¶ 15. Rather than permitting Plaintiff to leave after Plaintiff produced the documents, Defendant Swanson told Plaintiff to stay in the car with the door open while he returned to his police cruiser. Id. ¶ 17. Sometime thereafter, Defendants R. Moore and M. Townsend, both of whom are police officers employed by the City of Naperville, separately arrived on the scene. Id. ¶¶ 5, 18.
Defendant Swanson approached the Grand Am a second time. Id. ¶ 19. He asked Plaintiff who Theodore Cleveland was. Id. Plaintiff truthfully replied that Theodore Cleveland was his father. Id. ¶ 20. Plaintiff did not mention at that time that he also had a younger brother named Theodore Cleveland. See id. ¶¶ 20, 23. Defendant Swanson returned to his police cruiser, again telling Plaintiff to remain on the scene, in the Grand Am with the door open. See id. ¶ 21.

Defendant Swanson then approached the car for a third time and accused Plaintiff of lying. Defendant Swanson told Plaintiff that Theodore Cleveland could not be his father because police records indicated that Theodore Cleveland was born in 1985. Id. ¶ 22. Plaintiff told Defendant Swanson that the Theodore Cleveland who was born in 1985 was Plaintiff’s brother. Id. ¶ 23. Defendant Swanson once more returned to his cruiser, again telling Plaintiff to remain in the Grand Am with the door open. Id. ¶ 24.
At some point more than ten minutes after the stop began, Defendant Swanson and one of the other Defendants approached the Grand Am and told Plaintiff to get out of the car. Id. ¶ 25. These two Defendants also asked Plaintiff if he had any more identification. Id. Plaintiff complied with the officers’ instructions to exit the car. Id. ¶ 26. While he was exiting the Grand Am, Plaintiff asked the officers why he had been pulled over. Id. These two Defendants told Plaintiff that they had run the Grand Am’s plates and falsely stated that the vehicle came up under the name Theodore Cleveland. Id.
The officers again asked Plaintiff if he had any additional identification. Id. ¶ 27. Plaintiff provided the officers with his Illinois state photo identification card, his Kishwaukee Community College identification card, a credit card bearing his name, and his Social Security card. Id. Plaintiff also told the officers that his brother Theodore was in jail. Id. Additionally, Plaintiff provided the officers with his birthdate after they requested it. Id. ¶ 28.

Sometime thereafter, one of the Defendants asked Plaintiff if he had any tattoos. Id. ¶ 29. Plaintiff told the officers that he had a tattoo on his right shoulder. Id. Defendants demanded to see Plaintiff’s tattoo. Id. ¶ 30. Plaintiff removed his right arm from his jacket, unbuttoned his cardigan sweater, unbuttoned his shirt, and showed Defendants the tattoo on his right shoulder: a music staff, clef and notes. Id. The dispatcher subsequently informed Defendant Swanson that the Theodore Cleveland who resided at the same address as the owner of the Grand Am had a tattoo of a cross with angel wings in the shape of a heart on his upper right arm. Id. ¶ 31.

Even after learning this information about the tattoos, Defendants required Plaintiff to remain on the scene for at least ten more minutes. Id. ¶ 32. During that time, Defendant Swanson had the dispatcher call the DuPage and Will County Jails to confirm that Plaintiff’s brother, Theodore Cleveland, was incarcerated in one of the facilities. Id. ¶ 33. While they waited, Defendants made Plaintiff show them a scar on his abdomen. Id. ¶¶ 33-34. Defendants eventually permitted Plaintiff to leave the scene. Id. ¶ 35.

Decision: No qi for the popo’s.

Comment: Good.

Written by Burgers Allday

July 1, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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