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On Nov. 5, United States District Court Judge Jorge L. Alonso entered summary judgment in favor of defendants the City of Evanston and several police officers in a case brought against them by John A. Bamberg, Jr.

On Oct. 10, 2010, Mr. Bamberg was charged with the murder of Marcus T. Davis and the attempted murder of Mr. Davis’ financée. On Nov. 30, 2012, Mr. Bamberg was acquitted of all charges. 

Following his acquittal, Mr. Bamberg filed civil rights claims against the City of Evanston and several police officers, alleging they deprived him of due process and maliciously prosecuted him.  In ruling on the due process claims, Judge Alonso said that to defeat the defendants’ motion for summary judgement, Mr. Bamberg was required to “offer evidence that the officers suppressed material, exculpatory or impeaching evidence from him.” The Judge held that Mr. Bamberg failed to do so.

On the malicious prosecution claim, Judge Alonso held Mr. Bamberg “must offer evidence that they [the defendants] started a criminal proceeding against him with malice and without probable cause, the proceeding ended in plaintiff’s favor, and he was damaged as result. … The existence of probable cause is ‘an absolute bar to an action for malicious prosecution.’ …  Viewed favorably to plaintiff, the record establishes that defendants had probable cause to initiate the criminal case against him. … Accordingly, defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the malicious prosecution claim …”

Mr. Bamberg has the right to appeal the judgment.

Larry Gavin

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...