614 F.3d 391 (7th Cir. 2010), 09-3598, Mosley v. City of Chicago

Docket Nº:09-3598.
Citation:614 F.3d 391
Opinion Judge:FLAUM, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:Jovan MOSLEY, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. The CITY OF CHICAGO, a municipal corporation, and Chicago Police Officers Clarence Hill, Derail Easter, Charles Williams, and Edward Howard, Jr., Defendants-Appellees.
Attorney:Sean M. Mulroney, Attorney, Chicago, IL, for Plaintiff-Appellant. Mara S. Georges, Attorney, Sara K. Hornstra, Attorney, Office of the Corporation Counsel, Appeals Division, Chicago, IL, for Defendants-Appellees.
Judge Panel:Before FLAUM, ROVNER and WOOD, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:July 29, 2010
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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Page 391

614 F.3d 391 (7th Cir. 2010)

Jovan MOSLEY, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

The CITY OF CHICAGO, a municipal corporation, and Chicago Police Officers Clarence Hill, Derail Easter, Charles Williams, and Edward Howard, Jr., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 09-3598.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

July 29, 2010

Argued May 25, 2010.

Page 392

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 393

Sean M. Mulroney, Attorney, Chicago, IL, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Mara S. Georges, Attorney, Sara K. Hornstra, Attorney, Office of the Corporation Counsel, Appeals Division, Chicago, IL, for Defendants-Appellees.

Before FLAUM, ROVNER and WOOD, Circuit Judges.

FLAUM, Circuit Judge.

This is an appeal from a grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants in a § 1983 action that arose from the arrest and prosecution of plaintiff-appellant Jovan Mosley. Mosley was at the scene when a group of individuals beat Howard Thomas to death in 1999. Mosley arrived at the scene with the group that attacked Thomas and left the scene with the same group. Mosley and three other individuals were charged with Thomas's murder. After approximately five years in jail, Mosley was acquitted at trial. Shortly thereafter he filed this suit. Mosley's § 1983 claim centers around the allegation that the investigating officers withheld evidence of an exculpatory statement made by the key eyewitness during the line-up when this witness identified Mosley. We agree with the district court that the record does not support Mosley's due process violation claim or any of his related state law claims. We affirm.

I. Background

A. The Prosecution of Mosley in the Thomas Murder

Shortly after midnight on August 6, 1999, Howard Thomas was beaten to death near 7330 South Calumet Avenue in Chicago. Two teenage individuals, Jori Garth and Anton Williams, witnessed the attack. That evening, Garth and Williams were sitting on Garth's front porch. Frad Muhammad, Lawrence Wideman, Marvin Treadwell, Jovan Mosley and Gregory Reed approached the porch. Garth knew Treadwell and Reed socially. Reed, who had been drinking heavily, joined Garth and Williams on the porch while the others stayed at foot of the stairs. While the group was talking, Thomas walked by and someone in the group said, " there go the motherfucker right there." The group standing at the base of the stairs ran at Thomas. There is some testimony that Reed initially ran out and quickly ran back to the porch. Eventually, the beating ended and Muhammad, Wideman, Treadwell, and Mosley all walked off together, leaving Thomas in a pool of his own blood. The police arrived shortly thereafter. Garth and Williams did not come forward as witnesses right away.

The police interviewed Garth and Williams about six months after the attack. Garth told the police about the group coming to her porch to talk with her and Williams. She said that shortly into the conversation Thomas walked by and three of the members of the group ran and attacked him. She said that a tall, light-skinned, black man was the one with the baseball bat and the other two individuals had braided hair. None of these descriptions fit Mosley. Mosley does not allege that the police withheld Garth's statement.

Williams also gave a statement to the police. He told the officers that five individuals

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came to the porch. He recognized Reed, Treadwell, and Muhammad. He did not recognize the other two individuals. Officers Charles Williams, Clarence Hill, and Edward Howard, Jr. testified that Anton Williams told them that everyone in the group except Reed attacked Thomas. After Williams gave his statement, the officers assembled a line-up with Mosley. Williams identified Mosley as having been on the scene of Thomas's murder. The officers did not create a report to document the line-up at that time. Fifteen months later, Detective Hill documented the line-up in vague and general terms. The report does not say precisely what role Mosley played in the attack, but it did indicate that Williams identified Mosley as being involved in the murder in some fashion. This report was turned over to Mosley's attorney before trial. At his deposition in this case, Williams indicated that the report was a fair representation of the results of the line-up.

In addition to giving his initial statement and identifying Mosley in the line-up, Williams testified before the grand jury and at Mosley's trial. Before the grand jury Williams gave the following testimony:

Q: After you heard somebody say that, what did you see then?

A: They started beating on him.

Q: When you say they, who specifically did you see?

A: Frad, Marvin, Red.

Q: And did you see where the fourth black male who you described to the Grand Jury, where did he go as those three people were beating on the victim?

A: I didn't see him beat him, but he was around the area.

Q: Did you see him where the three people that you knew were beating on the victim?

A: Yes.

Q: And was he down in that area?

A: Yes.

At trial, Williams gave direct testimony consistent with his grand jury testimony. Then, on cross-examination Williams agreed with a statement by defense counsel that one could interpret as making Mosley less culpable:

Q: [Mosley is] the person you identified as having been out there but not having done anything, correct?

A: Correct.

Q: You never at any time told the police officers that Jovan Mosley did hit or strike or kick Mr. Thomas, did you?

A: No. No.

Williams testified in his deposition that he told the officers that five men, including Mosley, attacked Thomas. Williams also testified that he consistently told the officers that Mosley was part of the group that ran toward Thomas but that he did not see Mosley throw any punches. Other than agreeing with defense counsel's statement on cross-examination, Williams never claimed to have definitively seen Mosley abstain from participation in the attack.

The detectives also took a statement from Reed. Reed implicated all four defendants in the attack. In the statement, Reed claimed that Mosley hit Thomas a couple of times. In discussing that statement during his deposition in this case, Reed stated that he had no independent recollection of what happened but provided the statement based on what he had heard from other individuals. Reed claimed that he told the officers of that fact...

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