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Powell v IL - Racial impact of gun violence


Euler
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There have been previous threads on this case.

Three Children and their guardians v Illinois - ADA complaint

Federal judge declines IL request to dismiss lawsuit to force more gun restrictions

Those topics are now locked, but the case is still ongoing. The case was filed in the Northern Illinois Federal District Court in October 2018.

 

Docket

Complaint said:

DEMETRIA POWELL, as guardian ad litem and on behalf of her son D.P.; TANYA REESE, as guardian ad litem and on behalf of her son M.R.; and TYWANNA PATRICK, as guardian ad litem and on behalf of her granddaughter J.C., as well as on behalf of a class of similarly situated children,

Plaintiffs,

v.

THE STATE OF ILLINOIS; THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICE; BRUCE RAUNER, Governor of the State of Illinois; and LEO P. SCHMITZ, Director of the Illinois Department of State Police,

Defendants.

...

Chicago Is Awash In Gun Violence

...

A Substantial Number of the "Crime Guns" Used in Chicago Come from Chicago Area Gun Dealers

...

The State of Illinois Has Failed To Implement Meaningful Regulation of Gun Trafficking in Illinois, Despite Ample Authority to Do So

...

The Pervasive Gun Violence in Chicago's African-American Neighborhoods Has Caused Thousands of African-American Children to Become Disabled Under the ADA

...

The Plaintiffs' Exposure to Gun Violence Has Left Them Disabled Under the ADA

...

The State of Illinois Is Responsible for Providing Plaintiffs With a High Quality Education

...

WHEREFORE, plaintiffs pray that this Court:

 

A. Declare that the defendants have violated the rights of the plaintiffs under 740 ILCS 23/5(a)(2), by failing to take reasonable steps to control the gun trafficking that is having an adverse impact on African-American children.

 

B. Enter an injunction requiring that the defendant Illinois Department of State Police exercise its authority, under applicable law, to adopt reasonable gun trafficking regulations in order to reduce the level of gun violence, including rules and regulations such as those contained in paragraph 28 above, in order to eliminate the adverse racial impact of gun violence on African-American children.

 

C. Grant plaintiffs their reasonable attorneys' fees, costs and such other relief as may be appropriate.

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On 30 September 2019, the judge dismissed all plaintiffs other than Demetria Powell on behalf of her son for lack of standing, but otherwise allowed the suit to move forward.


On 15 October 2019, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss, based on mootness due to then-recently-enacted state Gun Dealer Licensing Act. On 18 December 2019, the judge denied the defendant motion to dismiss on the basis that gun dealer licensing does not compel the state to implement regulations to reduce violence. (The plaintiffs want the state to reduce violence. The judge said that gun dealer licensing won't make the state do that.) The defendants argued that the plaintiffs should therefore amend their complaint to oppose the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. [umm ... LOL, but good try] The judge denied that argument, too.


On 28 July 2021, Powell filed an amended complaint that added a new plaintiff and changed the case and remedies a bit.

 

First Amended Complaint said:

DEMETRIA POWELL, as guardian ad litem and on behalf of her son D.P.; and SHANICE MATHEWS as guardian ad litem on behalf of her son, D.W. as well as on behalf of a class of similarly situated children,

Plaintiffs,

v.

THE STATE OF ILLINOIS; THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICE; J.B. PRITZKER, Governor of the State of Illinois; and BRENDAN KELLY, Director of the Illinois Department of State Police,

Defendants.

...

The Public Health Emergency in Chicago

...

A Substantial Number of the "Crime Guns" Used in Chicago Come from Chicago Area Gun Dealers

...

The State of Illinois Has Failed To Implement Meaningful Gun Trafficking Prevention Regulation in Illinois, Despite Ample Authority to Do So

...

The Pervasive Gun Violence in Chicago's African-American Neighborhoods Has Caused Thousands of African-American Children to Become Disabled Under the ADA

...

The Plaintiffs' Exposure to Gun Violence Has Left Them Disabled Within the Meaning of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

...

WHEREFORE, plaintiffs pray that this Court:

 

A. Certify the proposed class.

 

B. Declare that by failing to use the full regulatory authority to prevent illegal gun trafficking and straw sales as described above, the defendants have used methods of administration that have subjected the plaintiff children to discrimination based upon race in violation of 740 ILCS 23/5(a)(2), by

 

C. Enter an injunction requiring that the defendants to use their full regulatory authority prevent exposure of the plaintiff children to the violence that is resulting from illegal gun trafficking and straw sales

 

D. Grant plaintiffs their reasonable attorneys' fees, costs and such other relief as may be appropriate.

 

Most notably, the amended complaint focuses more on reducing the diversion of legal firearms into the illegal market and less on curbing violence itself.

 

Edited by Euler
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On 13 October 2021, the defense filed a motion to dismiss the first amended complaint on the basis that the injuries (childhood PTSD) could not be traced to the defendants, nor would they be redressed by government regulation, and that the plaintiffs had not been denied access to any program on the basis of race or disability.

 

On 24 November 2021, Powell amended the complaint again to reintroduce an alleged violation of the Illinois Civil Rights Act in place of an alleged violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as the original complaint had done. This change addresses the dismissal argument regarding access to programs.

 

On 17 December 2021, the defense filed a motion to dismiss the second amended complaint. [The text of that motion is not available to me, but is probably substantially the same as the motion from 13 October.]

 

A ruling on the motion to dismiss is still pending. The court has also not yet certified the suit as a class action.

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On 4/19/2022 at 12:50 AM, Euler said:

... The defendants argued that the plaintiffs should therefore amend their complaint to oppose the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. [umm ... LOL, but good try] The judge denied that argument, too.

...

 

I know I just dumped a lot of words into the forum, but I thought I should add a few more to explain my editorial comment above, just in case anyone missed it in the flood.

 

Remember that the defendants are Illinois state agencies and the governor. When "the defendants" argue something, that's the office of Illinois Attorney General, Kwame Raoul, arguing it.

 

So ...

 

... Kwame Raoul (JB Pritzker's attorney general) ...

 

... is saying that Demetria Powell (a black mother from Chicago) et al. ...

 

... should oppose Illinois gun dealer licensing in their suit.

 

That is so bizarre, "LOL" is but a token of my amusement.

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