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Case Name Chicago Freedom School v. Chicago PN-IL-0025
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-03718 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Policing
Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Police Violence Protests (Spring/Summer 2020)
Case Summary
This lawsuit was brought on June 25, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. This complaint was filed in response to police conduct amidst the protests that followed the killing of George Floyd in May of 2020. However, unlike most other cases in this collection, the ... read more >
This lawsuit was brought on June 25, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. This complaint was filed in response to police conduct amidst the protests that followed the killing of George Floyd in May of 2020. However, unlike most other cases in this collection, the conduct of the police in this case were aimed at the plaintiffs specifically. Plaintiffs were directors of an organization created by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) called Chicago Freedom School and the institution itself. They were represented by attorneys from the People's Law Office and the Community Justice and Civil Rights Clinic at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Defendants were the City of Chicago, the Superintendent of Chicago Police, investigators from the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) and several Chicago Police Department (CPD) officers.

The complaint alleged that, in an effort to aid protesters, the Chicago Freedom School announced that they would open their facility to people looking to take a break, charge their cell phones, and get refreshments and pizza. Later in the night, investigators from the BACP and a number of CPD officers parked outside the Chicago Freedom School, and began to tell the directors of the organization that they needed to inspect the building because they received reports that the School was housing and feeding people in violation of their business license. Defendants entered the building without a warrant and issued a cease and desist order, claiming that they were "preparing and serving food on the premises" without a proper license.

The complaint alleged violations of the First and Fourth Amendments, as well as several counts regarding violations of Illinois state law including the Illinois state constitution, the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief in the form of a preliminary injunction, as well as monetary damages.

The case was assigned to the Honorable Thomas M. Durkin and Magistrate Judge Sunil R. Harjani.

While the docket does not say so, the Chicago Freedom School announced on July 3, 2020 that the CPD had rescinded the cease and desist letter. It is unclear whether the rescission is a result of the lawsuit or voluntary on the part of CPD.

The case is ongoing as of August 4, 2020.

Jack Hibbard - 07/17/2020
Jack Hibbard - 08/04/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Aggressive behavior
Disparate Impact
Search policies
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
State law
Defendant(s) Chicago Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
Chicago Police Department
City of Chicago
Plaintiff Description Chicago Freedom School and its directors
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 06/25/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
1:20-cv-3718 (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0025-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/10/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PN-IL-0025-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/25/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 5]
PN-IL-0025-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/25/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Exhibit 6 to Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction: Declarations of Plaintiffs Jacqulyn Hamilton & Tony Alvarado Rivera [ECF# 6]
PN-IL-0025-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/25/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Durkin, Thomas Michael (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0025-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bedi, Sheila A. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0025-0001 | PN-IL-0025-0002 | PN-IL-0025-9000
Mogul, Joey L. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0025-0001 | PN-IL-0025-0002 | PN-IL-0025-9000

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