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Petty v. City of Chicago

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

June 9, 2014

RIVERA PETTY, as Administratrix of the Estate of Timothy Petty, Deceased, [1] Plaintiff-Appellant,
CITY OF CHICAGO, ET AL., Defendants-Appellees

Argued: September 17, 2013.

As Corrected July 10, 2014.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 07 CV 7013 -- Wayne R. Andersen and Virginia M. Kendall, Judges.

For RIVERA PETTY, as the Administrator for the Estate of TIMOTHY D. PETTY, Plaintiff - Appellant: Michael W. Condon, Attorney, Jason W. Rose, Attorney, Hervas, Condon & Bersani, Itasca, IL.

For City of Chicago, Michael Conway, Mark Regal, Gregory Danz, William Davis, Defendants - Appellees: Jonathon D. Byrer, Attorney, City of Chicago Law Department, Appeals Division, Chicago, IL.

Before WILLIAMS, SYKES, and TINDER, Circuit Judges.


Page 417

Williams, Circuit Judge.

Timothy Petty was arrested on the suspicion that he, along with another person, shot and killed Albert Council and wounded two others. Petty was identified as the shooter and was indicted for murder, but was found not guilty after a bench trial. After his acquittal, Petty filed a suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the City of Chicago and individual Chicago Police Department officers arguing that the officers violated his due process rights by intentionally mishandling the shooting investigation and prosecuting him for murder based on falsified evidence. Specifically, Petty alleged that CPD officers held a witness, Fredrick Tarver, in a room for over 13 hours without food, water, or access

Page 418

to a bathroom until he implicated him. But Petty's argument fails because his " coerced evidence" claim is not cognizable under the Due Process Clause.

In addition, Petty alleged that Defendants concealed evidence and failed to disclose their misconduct in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963). We disagree. Summary judgment was proper here because Petty was aware of the Defendant's alleged misconduct before trial and had ample opportunity to make use of the information at trial. Finally, he claimed that the City was liable for the police officers' conduct because it had a policy of detaining people believed to be crime witnesses for extended periods of time against their will. But his Monell claim also fails because he did not suffer a constitutional injury sufficient to support it.[2] Therefore, we affirm the district courts' decision.


A. The Shooting and the Identifications

In the early morning of October 18, 2003, two individuals shot and killed Albert Council, wounding Sebastian Moore and Lowell Hubbard. Minutes after the shooting, Chicago Police Department (" CPD" ) officers arrived at the scene and were told by witnesses that the shooters were African-Americans who wore dark clothing, masks, and skull caps. Officers brought witnesses Frederick Tarver and Mario Parker to CPD Area 3 Headquarters for further questioning. Between 13 to 17 hours later, Tarver selected Timothy Petty's photo from a photo array and identified him as a shooter.

On November 29, Petty, also known as " Spank," was arrested on an outstanding warrant and after Moore also positively identified Petty as one of the shooters murder charges were filed against him. On December 19, Petty was indicted for murder and held in custody for 33 months pending trial.

B. Petty's Motions Before His Bench Trial

In state court, Petty moved to quash his arrest and suppress any evidence that arose from it, arguing that he was arrested without a valid warrant or probable cause. After hearing testimony from CPD officers regarding their conduct surrounding Tarver's positive identification of Petty, his motion was denied.

Petty filed a second motion to suppress Tarver's identification testimony, alleging that Tarver recanted his identification and only made the initial false identification because police officers told him who to pick out of the line-up. At the hearing, Tarver said the police tried to make him pick Petty from the line-up, and that he had told the officers he was not sure whether Petty was the shooter. He also testified that he was not allowed to leave the police station after the line-up and was left in a locked room until the next morning. Tarver said Defendant Detective Michael Conway threatened to have his parole revoked if he did not help convict Petty. When Tarver was shown the picture of Petty with his signature on it, Tarver said that the signature looked like his but he did not remember seeing or signing the picture. Tarver also stated that he ...

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