Thompson v. City of Chicago

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Case Number: 
Nos. 10-2951 & 11-2883 Cons.
Decision Date: 
July 10, 2013
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Reversed and remanded
Plaintiff was entitled to new trial in section 1983 action alleging that defendants-police officials violated plaintiff’s due process rights in violation of Brady by withholding impeachment evidence arising out of prior criminal prosecution of plaintiff on trumped up firearms charge that arose when officer allegedly planted gun on plaintiff during his arrest. Dist. Ct. erred in excluding proposed testimony from other citizens, who claimed that they too were victims of similar misconduct by defendants and other police officers in same Special Operations Section to which defendants and other police officers were members, where: (1) plaintiff asserted that defendants were aware of corruption within SOS in which officers regularly fabricated grounds for drugs and firearms investigations, but withheld said information during plaintiff’s trial; and (2) said proffered evidence was highly probative as to defendants’ involvement in said pattern of misconduct. Moreover, defendants failed to assert that said evidence was unfairly prejudicial, and Dist. Ct.’s concern that admission of said evidence would require time-consuming mini-trials was unwarranted. Dist. Ct. also erred: (1) in refusing to admit guilty-plea testimony of other SOS officers, who had been accused in criminal corruption charges; and (2) in allowing defendants to make indirect references to plaintiff’s extensive arrest record when exploring plaintiff’s use of aliases.