October 09, 2016 Practice Points

Appeals Court: That Was Not Improper “Character” Evidence

A look at an excessive force case.

by Michael R. Lied

Davies v. Benbenek, 2016 WL 4728036 (7th Cir. September 12, 2016) was an “excessive force” case.

On June 24, 2010, Dan Davies and his girlfriend Lucille Whitehead got into a fight in Davies’ bedroom. Whitehead managed to call 911 and reported that she and Davies got into an argument and that he had pulled a gun on her. Several Chicago police officers, including Officer Karlen Benbenek, responded to the call. The officers kicked down the door to Davies’ home because no one answered after they knocked and announced their presence. When the officers entered they saw Davies, who is paralyzed from the waist down, sitting in his wheelchair. Davies’ nephew was also there.

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