September 27, 2017
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 15-cv-08385 -
Charles R. Norgle, Judge.
Wood, Chief Judge, and Flaum and Kanne, Circuit Judges.
1986 to 2015, Plaintiff Ronald Forgue was an officer with the
Chicago Police Department ("CPD"). Forgue alleges
that, from 2012 to 2015, he was harassed by fellow police
officers for adhering to CPD policy and procedure and for
filing numerous internal complaints. Forgue filed suit
against the City of Chicago and over forty individual
officers under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for First Amendment
retaliation, equal protection, civil conspiracy, and
procedural due process, as well as related state law claims.
The district court granted defendants' Rule 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss Forgue's federal claims and declined to
exercise supplemental jurisdiction over his state law claims.
We affirm in part and reverse in part.
1986 to 2015, Ronald Forgue worked for the CPD in several
capacities, including for the Internal Affairs Division
("IAD"), as an incident team Sergeant, as an
Operations Lieutenant, and as a Commanding Officer in the
Alternate Response Unit. Forgue officially retired on August
13, 2015 after nearly thirty years of service.
alleges that, between 2012 and 2015, he was harassed "in
retaliation against his leadership as a sergeant and
lieutenant because he followed proper procedure." Forgue
cites several specific instances where he was wrongfully
targeted for adhering to CPD rules. In 2012, for example,
Forgue complained to his superiors that white officers were
"spitting tobacco in black families' homes when on
calls." Forgue claims that, in response, his superiors
laughed at him and told him to "not mess with his
also maintains that CPD harassed him by unlawfully targeting
his sons. Between June 2012 and January 2015, Forgue's
three sons were stopped, arrested, handcuffed, or detained a
total of twenty-two times. According to Forgue, the
"majority of the reasons given for the stops and/or
arrests were false." As examples: Forgue's three
sons were falsely la- beled as gang members; in November
2012, two officers unlawfully seized one of Forgue's
sons, drove him around, and interrogated him for two hours;
and in August 2014, an officer "grabbed [Forgue's
son] by the neck and beat [him] in front of [his]
house." In response to this treatment, Forgue filed
complaints with his superiors.
also was allegedly targeted directly. On November 20, 2013, a
poster falsely labeling Forgue's picture with the words
"sex offender" was displayed and distributed at
Forgue's police station. On March 24, 2014-the same day
that he reported to the IAD that a sergeant was improperly
distributing a booking photo and rap sheet of his son-Forgue
discovered a fake Facebook account created under his name.
The Facebook page associated with the account displayed a
photograph of Forgue labeled "IAD INFORMANT." The
creator of the account (who falsely purported to be Forgue
himself) posted disparaging comments about Forgue as well as
false complaints on the official Facebook page for the
Chicago Mayor's Office.
Forgue claims he was passed over for several promotions in
favor of other officers who did not file complaints, and on
September 23, 2014, Forgue was assigned to the less desirable
Alternate Response Unit. According to Forgue, the police
union told him this transfer was because "of the
complaints he made to the [IPRA] and IAD." Overall,
between May 2012 and September 2014, CPD officers filed seven
formal complaints against Forgue, allegedly for his strict
compliance with CPD policies.
upon his retirement from the CPD in 2015, Forgue was denied a
retirement identification card ("Retirement Card"
or "Card"). Pursuant to CPD policy, an officer who
provides at least ten years of service and leaves the CPD in
"good standing" receives a Retirement Card.
Although the good standing determination is left to the
discretion of the Police Superintendent, Forgue's
complaint alleges that it was the "policy and
practice" of the CPD to issue a Card to all retiring
officers. There are several detriments to not receiving a
Card. Without one, Forgue cannot carry a concealed firearm,
procure benefits such as health insurance, or find other
employment in law enforcement.
September 23, 2015, Forgue filed a complaint against the City
of Chicago and forty-two City employees, including the CPD
Superintendent and CPD sergeants, lieutenants, and officers.
Forgue brought 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims for First
Amendment retaliation, equal protection, civil conspiracy,
and procedural due process, as well as several related state
law claims. In response, defendants filed a motion to dismiss
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The
district court granted defendants' motion on Forgue's
federal claims and declined supplemental jurisdiction over
the remaining state law claims. This appeal followed.