Williams v. Dieball, No. 12-3348 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
In 2007, Williams was pulled over for allegedly running a stop sign. Because he had no proof of insurance, he and his car were taken to a Chicago police station. The next day, officers approached Williams on the street and claimed that he had wrongfully taken his car from the station the previous night. Williams claimed that one of the officers said he could take the car and gave him the keys. The officers sought to tow his car; Williams resisted. According to Williams, the officers beat him repeatedly; after he was handcuffed and taken to the station, the physical abuse continued. Williams sued the officers for false arrest and excessive force, 42 U.S.C. 1983. . The trial was largely a credibility contest; defendants presented evidence that Williams had committed seven drug or gun felonies in the last 10 years. The Seventh Circuit affirmed a verdict in favor of defendants, rejecting an argument that the district court erred in allowing in evidence of his prior convictions under Federal Rule 609, because it did not articulate a probative-prejudice balancing analysis. Williams did not ask the court to perform the balancing test.