Warning: this video is very graphic. It shows a Skokie police officer violently slam a woman into a jail bench. The woman, who had been arrested for DUI, had walked out of an open jail cell. Instead of returning her to her cell, the officer took an action which could have had a deadly result. As it was, she suffered major injuries to her face and neck.
From the Chicago Tribune:
A Chicago woman has sued the village of Skokie and one of its police officers, alleging she was seriously injured after being shoved headfirst into a jail cell bench after a drunken driving arrest last winter.
Cassandra Feuerstein, 47, said in a federal lawsuit that the incident required facial reconstructive surgery and the insertion of a titanium plate to “replace the bones that had been shattered.”
Part of the alleged incident was recorded on jail video cameras, which Feuerstein’s attorney, Torreya Hamilton, released Wednesday.
“The video speaks for itself,” Hamilton said. “She does nothing to justify what this male police officer does.”
Feuerstein was arrested for drunken driving March 10, according to Hamilton and court documents. The video shows officers searching Feuerstein inside the jail cell, where she appears to be asked to remove her boots and bra before being removed from the cell for additional processing.
An officer then takes Feuerstein by the arm and appears to push her back into the cell. Video shows Feuerstein falling forward and striking her head and face on a bench, before officers and paramedics tend to her as a pool of blood spreads on the floor…
In addition to a drunken driving charge, Feuerstein was charged with resisting a police officer. A Cook County court document filed by police said Feuerstein “knowingly resisted … in that she pulled away from (the officer) and placed both her hands on the sides of the cell door all in an attempt to not be placed into the holding cell.”
The lawsuit also alleges the officer made false statements to others in the Skokie Police Department about why he pushed Feuerstein into the jail cell, causing his fellow officers to write false reports on the incident.
Feuerstein pleaded guilty to the DUI charge, but county officials dropped the resisting arrest charges. The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages…
Village officials confirmed that the accused officer, who could not be reached, was still a village employee.
When I began this blog almost two years ago, I did not expect it to become an inventory of police misdeeds caught on video (almost always exposing the officer’s lies contained in his or her written reports as part of a cover-up). Yet here we are again. This officer not only did not show any remorse or concern for the woman he nearly killed, he then wrote up a report making him out to be the put-upon officer trying to do his job. It just goes to show what can happen when the wrong people are entrusted with a badge.