January 11, 2017
from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Wisconsin. No. 2:15-cv-00587-RTR - Rudolph T.
Bauer, Flaum, and Easterbrook, Circuit Judges.
February 2013, Eddie Gill confessed to and was charged with
the murder of Jordin Crawley. Gill spent just over a year in
jail awaiting trial. The charges were dropped, however, after
a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge suppressed Gill's
confession. Gill then filed a series of federal and state law
claims in federal district court against the City of
Milwaukee, Chief of Police Edward Flynn, and six Milwaukee
police detectives. The district court entered judgment on the
pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) in
favor of Defendants on all of Gill's federal claims and
dismissed the state law claims without prejudice. For the
reasons that follow, we affirm.
February 3, 2013, Jordin Crawley was shot and killed while
standing in a crowd outside a club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
just after it had closed for the night. Gill exited the club
as it was closing and crossed the street to greet a group of
friends that he saw at a gas station. After a couple minutes,
Gill and the group walked back towards the crowd of people
outside the club. Just then, multiple gunshots were fired,
killing Crawley and wounding another man.
days that followed the shooting, Milwaukee Police detectives
collected security video footage from the area and
interviewed approximately 20 witnesses. One of the witnesses
identified Gill from the video footage of the gas station
parking lot. Detective Mark Peterson spoke with Gill on the
phone and spoke with his mother in person. Gill's mother
explained to Peterson that Gill had cognitive impairments. At
approximately 7:30 p.m. on February 12, 2013, Gill
voluntarily came to the police station to be interviewed.
Timothy Graham and Erik Gulbrandson conducted the initial
interview. Gill's complaint states that the detectives
knew of Gill's intellectual disability prior to the
interview, and that it was also apparent through his behavior
and answers. During the interview, Gill made multiple
statements that were disproved by the video footage,
including the number of people he was with and where he was
standing when the shooting occurred. Based on those
statements, the detectives arrested Gill for obstruction and
immediately read Gill his Miranda rights. Gill
requested a lawyer, and the detectives ended the interview.
detectives transported him to booking, Gill said that he
wanted to take a polygraph test and that he wished to waive
his right to a lawyer in order to do so. The next morning,
Detective James Hensley retrieved Gill from his cell to take
the polygraph test. Hensley reiterated that Gill could not
take the polygraph without a lawyer present, unless he was
willing to waive his right to a lawyer. Gill's complaint
states that he interpreted this to mean either that he could
take a polygraph without a lawyer or that he could not take
one at all. Still, Gill stated that he understood his
Miranda rights and chose to proceed with the
polygraph without a lawyer present. He denied any involvement
with the shooting during the examination, which lasted over
the polygraph, Detectives Hensley and Billy Ball took Gill to
another room and continued interrogating him. The detectives
again read Gill his Miranda rights, which he waived.
Throughout this interrogation, which lasted five more hours,
Gill continued to maintain his innocence.
next morning, February 14, 2013, Hensley began interrogating
Gill once again. Gill initially stated that he wanted a
lawyer, but Hensley convinced him to waive his rights and
continue with the interrogation. Hensley employed several
interrogation techniques, including social isolation,
confrontation, theme development, and minimization. He also
falsely stated that Gill had been identified as the shooter
by an eyewitness, and that Gill had failed his polygraph
test. During the course of this interrogation, Gill professed
his innocence more than 140 times, but eventually confessed
to the shooting. He was charged with first degree reckless
homicide and remained in jail.
filed a motion to suppress his confession, which the trial
court granted on February 24, 2014. The court specifically
noted that Gill was "functionally illiterate, "
that he had previously been found incompetent to stand trial
for a different crime, and that his mother had advised
Hensley of his intellectual disability. In light of those
facts and the "stressful" interrogations, the court
held that his confession was involuntary and inadmissible. As
a result, the charges were dismissed on March 13, 2014.
then filed this case in the district court, bringing federal
claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as supplemental
state law claims. He brought claims against each of the
individual detectives for violations of his Fifth and
Fourteenth Amendment rights, a claim for false arrest, and a
claim for concealment of favorable evidence. He also brought
claims for conspiracy and failure to intervene, corresponding
to each of those claims. Finally, he brought claims against
Chief of Police Edward Flynn for supervisory liability, and
against the City of Milwaukee for municipal liability. In two
written opinions, the district court entered judgment in
favor of Defendants on all of the federal claims ...