Mark A. Brooks-Albrechtsen v. Jason Mitchell
Filed Nonprecedential Disposition PER CURIAM. AFFIRMED. Daniel A. Manion, Circuit Judge; Michael S. Kanne, Circuit Judge and Ann Claire Williams, Circuit Judge. [6826687-1]  [16-3455]
To be cited only in accordance with Fed. R. App. P. 32.1
United States Court of Appeals
For the Seventh Circuit
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Submitted March 17, 2017*
Decided March 17, 2017
DANIEL A. MANION, Circuit Judge
MICHAEL S. KANNE, Circuit Judge
ANN CLAIRE WILLIAMS, Circuit Judge
MARK A. BROOKS‐ALBRECHTSEN,
Appeal from the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Indiana,
Jane E. Magnus‐Stinson
O R D E R
Jason Mitchell, an officer with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department,
flagged down Mark Brooks‐Albrechtsen and talked with him briefly after concluding
from the sound of his approaching vehicle that Brooks‐Albrechtsen was speeding.
Brooks‐Albrechtsen then sued Mitchell under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that the officer
* We have agreed to decide the case without oral argument because the briefs and
record adequately present the facts and legal arguments, and oral argument would not
significantly aid the court. See FED. R. APP. P. 34(a)(2)(C).
had violated the Fourth Amendment. The district court granted summary judgment for
Mitchell, concluding from the undisputed evidence that no constitutional violation
occurred. We affirm the district court’s judgment.
Brooks‐Albrechtsen had mounted a dashboard camera in his own vehicle and
recorded his encounter with Mitchell. Around 1:30 a.m. on a Sunday,
Brooks‐Albrechtsen was working as a driver for Uber, the rideshare service. While
driving his 2012 Subaru Legacy down a residential street in Indianapolis, he approached
a four‐way stop marked with flashing red lights. Stopped ahead of him at the
intersection, blocking his lane, were a pickup truck and two police cars with flashing red
and blue lights. Brooks‐Albrechtsen slowed as he neared the intersection and moved
into the left‐turn lane to avoid those vehicles. Mitchell, who had been standing with
another officer between the stopped vehicles, then walked across the left‐turn lane,
prompting Brooks‐Albrechtsen to stop short of the intersection. Mitchell, speaking
through the driver‐side window, asked why it had “sounded” to him that
Brooks‐Albrechtsen continued driving “at a high rate of speed” even after seeing the
flashing emergency lights. Brooks‐Albrechsten answered that he did not know why his
car had sounded fast. Mitchell admonished him to drive more slowly, and he then
proceeded on his way. The encounter lasted about 40 seconds.
Unknown to Mitchell, Brooks‐Albrechsten recently had filed a lawsuit after being
turned down for a job as a police officer in Indianapolis. Brooks‐Albrechtsen v. City of
Indianapolis, No. 1:15‐cv‐00786‐TWP‐TAB, 2016 WL 3213457 (S.D. Ind. June 9, 2016).
He amended his complaint in that case to add a Fourth Amendment claim against
Mitchell. The district court severed the new claim into this lawsuit and later granted
summary judgment for Mitchell. The court assumed that Mitchell’s brief interaction with
Brooks‐Albrechsten was a seizure (a characterization Mitchell has not contested) but
concluded from the undisputed evidence that Mitchell had probable cause to investigate
Brooks‐Albrechtsen for violating a statute requiring drivers on two‐lane roads to reduce
their speed to at least ten miles per hour below the posted limit when approaching
stationary emergency vehicles with red and blue flashing lights, see IND. CODE
In this court Brooks‐Albrechsten argues, as he did in the district court, that
Mitchell lacked a lawful basis for stopping him. He does not dispute that Mitchell heard
his car approaching the intersection at what Mitchell perceived to be “a high rate of
speed”; rather, he contends that “many factors contribute to the sound of a vehicle’s
speed” and, thus, Mitchell might have overestimated his speed. But to justify an
investigatory stop, all that Mitchell needed was some “particularized and objective
basis” for thinking that Brooks‐Albrechtsen was breaking the law. See United States v.
Cortez, 449 U.S. 411, 417–18 (1981); United States v. Miranda‐Sotolongo, 827 F.3d 663, 666
(7th Cir. 2016). The video from Brooks‐Albrechtsen’s dashboard camera proves that he
did, in fact, continue traveling at a high rate of speed long after he could see the
emergency lights. And there was nothing unreasonable about Mitchell’s intuition that a
vehicle that sounded as if it was traveling faster than the speed limit might be doing so.
See Tapley v. Chambers, 840 F.3d 370, 377 (7th Cir. 2016) (recognizing that officer need not
calculate motorist’s speed with absolute precision before initiating traffic stop to
investigate suspected speeding); United States v. Peters, 743 F.3d 1113, 1117 (7th Cir. 2014)
Brooks‐Albrechtsen also argues that the district court overlooked that his
complaint asserted a claim under Monell v. Dep’t of Soc. Serv.’s, 436 U.S. 658 (1978),
against the City of Indianapolis and Marion County. But even if the complaint
adequately alleged a Monell claim, it would fail because Brooks‐Albrechtsen has not
shown any underlying constitutional violation. See Wilson v. Warren Cty., Ill. 830 F.3d
464, 470 (7th Cir. 2016).
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