Court Rules that Video Evidence Showed Correctional Officers’ Actions Were Constitutional

February 7, 2017

In Leyva v. Kankakee County, et al., a jail inmate, Giovanni Leyva, alleged that multiple officers used excessive force against him during a transport from his housing unit to a segregation unit. Leyva alleged that he was struck multiple times in the back, and that upon arrival to the segregation unit, he was placed in a cell that was without running water and had streaks of feces on the wall. With regard to the excessive force claim, U.S. District Court Judge Sara Darrow reviewed the security and taser videotape evidence and found Leyva’s allegations of excessive force to be entirely unfounded or “de minimis” at best. Leyva had failed to lock-up, was disrespectful with the officers, and was properly removed from his housing unit to a segregation unit, which was proper and constitutional. Judge Darrow indicated that Leyva’s testimony was directly contradicted by the evidence, including the video security footage, presented in the case. With regard to the conditions of confinement claim, Judge Darrow concluded that Leyva could not maintain the claim because he failed to show that the officers were made aware of the alleged conditions. In addition, Leyva admitted that the water within his cell was turned off due to his own conduct after he flooded his cell. Michael Condon and Anthony Becknek represented the correctional staff.

Leyva v. Kankakee County

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