Lovelace v. McKenna

On November 6, 2011, Lovelace and another inmate fought over pencils. Officers handcuffed Lovelace and walked him to a van to be taken to the segregation unit. Lovelace kicked through the van window. Lovelace claims that officers carried him out of the van and slammed his face into the ground. Lovelace was then placed inside another van, where officers continued to beat him. At the segregation unit, Officer Smith punched him in the ribs. In a cell, correctional officers removed Lovelace's clothes and continued the assault, leaving Lovelace for several hours without clothing or bedding. Lovelace testified that his eye was swollen shut, that his ribs were bruised, and that he had back pain. He presented evidence from his medical providers. Dr. Bochenek—a psychologist who treated Lovelace at Dixon on January 4, 2012—testified that that Lovelace “discussed his frustration with, what he perceives of as, the lack of attention to the grievance he filed ‘when the C/O’s [correctional officers] kicked my ass.’” The district court redacted the statement—“the C/O’s kicked my ass”—as inadmissible hearsay. Sullivan, a fellow inmate and Lovelace’s only witness to the alleged beating, was unavailable for trial, so designated portions from his deposition were read to the jury. The court excluded Sullivan’s deposition statements that elaborated on his ability to testify truthfully. The Seventh Circuit affirmed judgment in favor of the defendants, upholding those evidentiary rulings. View "Lovelace v. McKenna" on Justia Law