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Case: 1:17-cv-00435 Document #: 1 Filed: 01/19/17 Page 1 of 9 PageID #:1

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
EASTERN DIVISION
DEVON J. DAVIDSON,

)
)
Plaintiff,
)
)
vs.
)
)
CITY OF ZION, City of Zion Police
)
Officer PAUL SAGE (Star #48), and City )
of Zion Police Officer Erik Gonzalez
)
(Star # 26),
)
)
Defendants. )

No. 1:17-cv-435

JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

COMPLAINT
Devon J. Davidson, by and through his attorneys, Andrew M. Stroth of Action Injury
Law Group LLC, and Carlton Odim of Odim Law Offices, complains of Defendants, City of
Zion, City of Zion Police Officer Paul Sage and City of Zion Police Officer Erik Gonzalez (Star
#26) (Defendant Officers) as follows:
Introduction
1. This is a civil rights action brought by Devon J. Davidson, an African-American male
resident of Zion, Illinois, against the City of Zion and two of its police officers.
2. On July 26, 2016 at approximately 11:00 pm, Defendant Officer Paul Sage fired a
bullet into the chest of Devon J. Davidson, severely wounding him.
3. At the time of the shooting, Devon J. Davidson presented no immediate threat to Zion
Police Officer Paul Sage or to anyone else.

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Jurisdiction and Venue
4. The Jurisdiction of the court is invoked pursuant to the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C.
1983 et seq; the Judicial Code, 1331 and 1343(a); and the Constitution of the United States.
5. Venue is proper in this District under 28 U.S.C. 1391(b). The parties reside, or, at
the time the events took place, resided in this judicial district, and the events giving rise to the
plaintiff's claims also occurred in this judicial district.
Parties
6. Devon J. Davidson is a resident the City of Zion in Lake County, Illinois.
7. Defendant Police Officer Paul Sage was, at all times relevant to the allegations made
in this complaint, a duly appointed police officer employed by the City of Zion, acting within the
scope of his employment with the City of Zion and under the color of state law. He is sued in his
individual capacity.
8. Defendant City of Zion, a municipality duly incorporated under the laws of the State
of Illinois, is the employer and principal of Defendant Police Officer Paul Sage and Defendant
Police Officer Erik Gonzalez. The City is responsible for the policies, practices and customs of
its Police Department.
Facts
9. On July 26, 2016 at approximately 11:00 pm, Devon J. Davidson was in the driver's
seat of an automobile parked in the 2800 block of Galilee Avenue in Zion, Illinois, when he was
approached by Zion Police Officer Erik Gonzalez (Star # 26).
10. At the time Officer Erik Gonzalez approached him, Devon J. Davidson had violated
no laws and posed no threat to anyone.
11. Officer Gonzalez approached Devon J. Davidson in a manner that caused Davidson to
fear that he was going to be illegally shot and killed or maimed by Officer Gonzalez.
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12. Devon J. Davidson yelled to bystanders to use a cellular phone to record the on-going
encounter.
13. In fear of Officer Gonzalez, Devon J. Davidson drove away from the 2800 block of
Galilee Avenue to his mother's house at 2626 Hermon Avenue in Zion, Illinois, where he
stopped his automobile in the driveway and where he posed no threat to the defendant officers or
to anyone else.
14. Defendant Officer Gonzalez, joined by Defendant Officer Sage in another
automobile, followed Devon J. Davidson to 2626 Hermon Avenue, where Defendant Officer
Sage with his firearm drawn approached Devon J. Davidson, verbally threatening to shoot and
kill him.
15. Defendant Officer Sage then, without cause of provocation, fired one or more shots
from his service firearm into the automobile occupied by Devon J. Davidson, striking him in the
chest.
16. In fear of losing his life, Devon J. Davidson fled the scene in his automobile.
17. Defendant Officer Gonzalez, being present, had the duty and opportunity to intervene
to protect Devon J. Davidson, but Defendant Officer Gonzalez did nothing to assist Devon J.
Davidson or to prevent the shooting.
18. Defendant Officer Sage and Defendant Officer Gonzalez, jointly agreed and/or
conspired with one another to prepare false, misleading, and incomplete official reports and to
give a false, incomplete, and misleading versions of the events to their superiors and to the
public. In order to cover up their misconduct, they falsely claimed that Devon J. Davidson placed
them in imminent fear of bodily harm.
19. The actions of the Defendants and their named and unnamed co-conspirators, as
alleged in this complaint, were done jointly, in concert, and with shared intent and, therefore,
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constitute a continuing civil conspiracy under 42 U.S.C. 1983.
Count I
42 U.S.C. 1983 Claim for Excessive Force/Failure to Intervene
20. Plaintiff repeats and realleges the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as if they
were fully set out in this Count.
21. The actions of Defendant Officer Sage and Defendant Officer Gonzalez in shooting
Devon J. Davidson with a firearm without just cause and/or failing to intervene to prevent this
shooting, despite their having the opportunity to do so, violated Devon J. Davidson's rights under
the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution to be secure in his person against
unreasonable seizure, and his right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment to the
United States Constitution, and caused the injuries alleged in this complaint.
22. The actions of Defendant Officer Sage and Defendant Officer Gonzalez as alleged in
this Count of the complaint were the direct and proximate cause of the constitutional violations
set forth above and of the Plaintiff's injuries.
WHEREFORE, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983, Plaintiff demands substantial actual or
compensatory damages, and because Defendant Officer Sage and Defendant Officer Gonzalez
acted maliciously, wantonly, or oppressively, punitive damages, plus the costs of this action,
attorneys fees and whatever additional relief this Court deems equitable and just.

Count 2
42 U.S.C. 1983 Monell Policy Claim Against Defendant City of Zion
23. Plaintiff repeats and realleges the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as if they
were fully set out in this Count.
24. The constitutional violation detailed above were caused in part by the customs,
policies and practice of the defendants, as promulgated, enforced and disseminated by the City of
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Zion, Zion Police Department, and the Chief of the Zion Police Department, whereby those
charged with ensuring compliance with the Constitution of the United States, in this case and
many other cases, instead, deliberately, willfully, and wantonly encouraged the infliction of
physical abuse and excessive force by Zion Police Officers.
25. The misconduct described in this Count was undertaken pursuant to the policy and
practice of the City of Zion by its Police Department in that:
a. As a matter of policy and practice, the Zion Police Department directly
encourages the type of misconduct at issue in this case by failing to adequately train and
supervise its officers regarding the use of deadly force and potential deadly force on fleeing
suspects such as the plaintiff, such that its failure to do so manifests deliberate indifference;
b. As a matter of policy and practice, the City of Zion fails to adequately review,
punish and discipline prior instances of similar misconduct, thereby leading Zion Police Officers
to believe their actions will never be scrutinized, and encouraging future abuses such as those
affecting the plaintiff;
c. Generally, as a matter of widespread practice so prevalent as to comprise
municipal policy, officers of the Zion Police Department abuse citizens in a manner similar to
that alleged by Plaintiff in this Count on a frequent basis, yet the Zion Police Department makes
findings of wrongdoing in a disproportionately small number of cases;
d. City policy-makers are aware of, and condone and facilitate, by their inaction,
a code of silence in the Zion Police Department, by which police officers routinely fail to
report instances of police misconduct, and go undisciplined for doing so; and
e. The City of Zion has failed to act to remedy the patterns of abuse described in
the preceding sub-paragraphs, despite actual knowledge of the same, thereby causing injuries, as
alleged here.
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26. The policies, customs and practice herein complained of are so prevalent and
widespread within the Zion Police Department as to put the City of Zion policy makers on actual
and implied notice that such policies existed in full force and effect.
27. The City of Zion policy makers acted willfully, wantonly, and deliberately indifferent
towards the constitutional rights of the plaintiff by accepting, monitoring, maintaining,
protecting, and encouraging the unconstitutional policies, practices and customs in listed in the
above paragraph.
28. By acting willfully, wantonly and deliberately indifferent towards the constitutional
rights of the plaintiff, City of Zion policy makers approved, encouraged and caused
constitutional violations alleged in this complaint.
29. As a result of the acts and/or omissions of the Defendant, City of Zion, which caused,
permitted and/or allowed the actions and inactions of Defendant Officer Sage and Defendant
Officer Gonzalez, Devon J. Davidson suffered great physical injuries, pain and suffering, and
loss and deprivation of the normal activities, pursuits and pleasures of life, all caused by the
violations to and deprivations of his rights under the United States Constitution.
30. WHEREFORE, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983, Plaintiff demands judgment against the
City of Zion, for compensatory and punitive damages, plus costs, attorneys fees, and any and all
other relief that this Court deems just, fair, necessary and proper.

Count 3
State Law Claim for Conspiracy
31. Plaintiff repeats and realleges the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as if they
were fully set out in this Count.
32. Defendant Officer Sage and Defendant Officer Gonzalez, together with their unsued

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co-conspirators, reached an understanding, engaged and continue to engage in a course of
conduct, and otherwise jointly acted and/or conspired among and between themselves to
unreasonably stop, seize, shoot and injure Devon J. Davidson in violation of his constitutional
rights, to complete false, inaccurate, and misleading reports, and to make false statements to
superior officers in order to conceal their wrongdoing.
33. In furtherance of this conspiracy or conspiracies, the Defendants, together with their
unsued co-conspirators, committed the overt acts set alleged in this complaint.
34. These conspiracies are continuing.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands substantial actual or compensatory damages, and,
because Defendant Officer Sage and Defendant Officer Gonzalez acted maliciously, wantonly,
or oppressively, plaintiff demands punitive damages, plus the costs of this action and whatever
additional relief this Court deems equitable and just.

Count 4
State Law Claim for Battery
35. Plaintiff repeats and realleges the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as if they
were fully set out in this Count.
36. The Defendants knowingly and without legal justification caused bodily harm to
Plaintiff when they shot and injured him, thereby constituting battery under Illinois law.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands substantial actual or compensatory damages, and,
because Defendant Officer Sage and Defendant Officer Gonzalez acted maliciously, wantonly,
or oppressively, plaintiff demands punitive damages, plus the costs of this action and whatever
additional relief this Court deems equitable and just.

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Count 5
State Law Claim for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
37. Plaintiff repeats and realleges the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as if they
were fully set out in this Count.
38. The conduct and actions of Defendant Officer Sage and Defendant Officer Gonzalez,
as set forth above, were extreme and outrageous, were done intentionally, willfully and
wantonly, and/or knowing their was a high probability that their conduct would cause Plaintiff
severe emotional distress.
39. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants' extreme and outrageous conduct,
Plaintiff was injured and experienced severe emotional distress constituting intentional infliction
of emotional distress under Illinois state law.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands substantial actual or compensatory damages, and,
because Defendant Officer Sage and Defendant Officer Gonzalez acted maliciously, wantonly,
or oppressively, plaintiff demands punitive damages, plus the costs of this action and whatever
additional relief this Court deems equitable and just.

Count 6
State Law Claim for Respondeat Superior Against Defendant City of Zion
40. Plaintiff repeats and realleges the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as if they
were fully set out in this Count.
41. Defendant Officer Sage and Defendant Officer Gonzalez were, at all times material to
the allegations made in this complaint, employees and agents of the Defendant City of Zion
acting within the scope of their employment. Defendant City of Zion is liable for the acts of
Defendants which violated state law under the doctrine of respondeat superior.
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WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment for compensatory damages, jointly and
severally from the City of Zion plus the costs of this action and whatever additional relief this
Court deems equitable and just.
Count 7
745 ILCS 10/9-102 Claim Against Defendant City of Zion
42. Plaintiff repeats and realleges the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as if they
were fully set out in this Count.
43. Defendant City of Zion was the employer of Defendant Officer Sage and Defendant
Officer Gonzalez at all times relevant to the allegations contained in this complaint.
44. Defendant police officers committed the acts alleged in this complaint under the color
of law and in the scope of their employment as employees of the City of Zion, and the City is
liable for their actions under 745 ILCS 10/9-102.
45. WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against the Defendant City of Zion in the
amount awarded to Plaintiff against any and all individual Defendants as damages, attorneys
fees, costs and interest, and/or for any settlement entered into between the Plaintiff and
Defendants, and for whatever additional relief this Court deems equitable and just.
January 19, 2017

/s/Andrew Stroth
Andrew M. Stroth
Action Injury Law Group, LLC
191 North Wacker Drive, Suite 2300
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 771-2444
astroth@actioninjurylawgroup.com
Carlton Odim
Odim Law Offices
225 West Washington Street, Suite 2200
Chicago, Illinois 60606
(312) 578-9390
carlton@odimlaw.com