United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
MARK A. BROOKS-ALBRECHTSEN, Plaintiff,
MITCHELL Officer, in his individual and official capacity as a police officer for the Indianapolis Metro. Police Dep't, Department of Public Safety, Defendant.
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Judge.
action stems from a traffic encounter between pro se
Plaintiff Mark A. Brooks-Albrechtsen and Defendant
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
("IMPD") Officer Mitchell that lasted forty
seconds. After that encounter, Mr. Brooks-Albrechtsen sued
Officer Mitchell in his individual capacity pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. [Filing No. 2.] Presently
pending before the Court are the parties' Cross-Motions
for Summary Judgment, [Filing No. 13; Filing No.
28], and Mr. Brooks-Albrechtsen's Motion to Strike
portions of Officer Mitchell's reply brief on summary
judgment, [Filing No. 53], I.
motion for summary judgment asks the Court to find that a
trial is unnecessary because there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and, instead, the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(a). As the current version of Rule 56 makes clear, whether
a party asserts that a fact is undisputed or genuinely
disputed, the party must support the asserted fact by citing
to particular parts of the record, including depositions,
documents, or affidavits. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A). A party
can also support a fact by showing that the materials cited
do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute
or that the adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence
to support the fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B). Affidavits or
declarations must be made on personal knowledge, set out
facts that would be admissible in evidence, and show that the
affiant is competent to testify on matters stated.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(4). Failure to properly support a fact in
opposition to a movant's factual assertion can result in
the movant's fact being considered undisputed, and
potentially in the grant of summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P.
deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court need only
consider disputed facts that are material to the decision. A
disputed fact is material if it might affect the outcome of
the suit under the governing law. Hampton v. Ford Motor
Co., 561 F.3d 709, 713 (7th Cir. 2009). In other words,
while there may be facts that are in dispute, summary
judgment is appropriate if those facts are not outcome
determinative. Harper v. Vigilant Ins. Co., 433 F.3d
521, 525 (7th Cir. 2005). Fact disputes that are irrelevant
to the legal question will not be considered. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
summary judgment, a party must show the Court what evidence
it has that would convince a trier of fact to accept its
version of the events. Johnson v. Cambridge Indus.,
325 F.3d 892, 901 (7th Cir. 2003). The moving party is
entitled to summary judgment if no reasonable factfinder
could return a verdict for the non-moving party. Nelson
v. Miller, 570 F.3d 868, 875 (7th Cir. 2009). "The
existence of cross-motions for summary judgment does not,
however, imply that there are no genuine issues of material
fact." R.J. Corman Derailment Servs., LLC v.
Int'l Union of Operating Engineers, 335 F.3d 643,
647 (7th Cir. 2003). Specifically, "[p]arties have
different burdens of proof with respect to particular facts;
different legal theories will have an effect on which facts
are material; and the process of taking the facts in the
light most favorable to the non-movant, first for one side
and then for the other, may highlight the point that neither
side has enough to prevail without a trial."
Id. at 648.
Seventh Circuit recently recognized, "a twist on the
usual standard of review is at play" when the evidence
includes a videotape of the relevant events. Williams v.
Brooks, 809 F.3d 936, 942 (7th Cir. 2016). In that
circumstance, "the Court should not adopt the nonmoving
party's version of the events when that version is
blatantly contradicted by the videotape." Id.
Instead, the Court should rely primarily on the videotape.
following statement of facts was evaluated pursuant to the
standards set forth above, specifically in light of the
Seventh Circuit's recent precedent that when the evidence
includes a videotape of the relevant events, the Court should
rely primarily on it. Williams, 809 F.3d at 942.
approximately 1:24 a.m. on October 18, 2015, Mr.
Brooks-Albrechtsen was working as an Uber driver,
transporting a passenger eastbound on East 71st Street from
Shadeland Avenue towards Hague Road in Indianapolis.
[Filing No. 13-1 at 1; Filing No. 14.] As
he came over a hill, he observed the emergency lights of a
stationary police vehicle on the right side of the road.
[Filing No. 13-1 at 1; Filing No. 14.] As
he approached, he saw an FMPD officer standing in front of
the patrol car with an individual who appeared to be in
handcuffs. [Filing No. 13-1 at 1.] The traffic light
at the intersection he was approaching was flashing red.
[Filing No. 14.]
Brooks-Albrechtsen's vehicle approached the intersection,
Officer Mitchell walked into his traffic lane. [Filing
No. 13-1 at 1.] Officer Mitchell approached Mr.
Brooks-Albrechtsen's vehicle, and Mr. Brooks-Albrechtsen
rolled down his car window. [Filing No. 14.] The
following conversation ensued:
Officer Mitchell: "Have you had anything to drink
Mr. Brooks-Albrechtsen: "Not at all."
Officer Mitchell: "Okay. Why is it that I can hear your
car going at a high rate of speed before I even see your
Mr. Brooks-Albrechtsen: "I don't know, man."
Officer Mitchell: "Then when I see your lights, I still
hear your car going at a high rate of speed when you see