Price v. City of Chicago
Illinois Appellate Court
2018 IL App (1st) 161599, 97 N.E.3d 188 (2018)
Niko Husband went to a dance party at which attendees were patted down by security before entry. Police received a call that a man with an assault rifle was at the same location as the party. Several officers went to the location and told the party attendees to disperse. Husband had his arms around a female friend, Keoni Jackson. One of the police officers, Marco Proano (defendant), believed that Jackson appeared distressed and ordered Husband to remove his arms from her body. Husband did not comply. A struggle ensued, ending with Proano fatally shooting Husband. The administrator of Husband’s estate, Priscilla Price (plaintiff), brought a wrongful-death action against Proano and the city of Chicago (defendant). At trial, Proano pleaded the defense of justification by way of self-defense. Three officers, including Proano, testified that Husband had a gun pointed at one of the officers, prompting Proano to shoot Husband to save his fellow officer’s life. Four other officers on the scene testified that they did not see Husband with a gun. The jury returned a general verdict against Proano and the city. The jury also answered two special interrogatories. The first asked if Proano reasonably believed that Husband’s actions placed Proano or his fellow officers in imminent danger. The jury answered yes. However, this special interrogatory did not specifically address the issue of whether Proano’s shooting of Husband was necessary to avert the supposed danger. The second special interrogatory asked if Proano engaged in willful and wanton conduct without legal justification, to which the jury also answered yes. The court found that the answer to the first special interrogatory was at odds with the general verdict, and that the former controlled. Judgment was entered in favor of Proano and the city. Price appealed. The Illinois Appellate Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Simon, J.)
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