Thursday, October 10, 2013
A Chicago woman is suing a police officer and the town of Skokie, Ill., claiming she was seriously injured when a cop used excessive force when he threw her face first into a jail cell’s concrete bench following a drunk driving arrest.
Cassandra Feuerstein, 47, claims in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, that she required reconstructive surgery to “replace the bones that had been shattered” after being pushed into the cell on March 10.
Video, released Wednesday by Feuerstein’s attorney, clearly shows the incident. The four and half minute video initially shows Feuerstein being searched by a female officer. She then briefly leaves the cell, before being shoved back in by a guard identified as Officer Michael Hart.
The video shows Feuerstein’s face slamming against a concrete slab running the length of the cell, before she immediately crumples into a ball. It is unclear from the video whether she lost consciousness. Police officers quickly entered the cell to administer first aid as a pool of blood appears on the floor below her.
Feuerstein claims the officer then filed a false report claiming she resisted police to explain being thrown into the cell.
“The video speaks for itself,” Feuerstein’s lawyer Torreya Hamilton told reporters Wednesday. “She does nothing to justify what this male police officer does.”
Feuerstein does not deny the drunk driving charges and pleaded guilty. Her lawyer has not specified the damages sought in the suit.
“The Village of Skokie expresses deep concern for Ms. Cassandra Feuerstein’s injuries that occurred at the Skokie Police Station earlier this year,” the town’s spokeswoman Ann Tennes said in a statement. “Officer Michael Hart has been on station duty and has no contact with the public. Both the Village of Skokie and the Cook County State’s Attorney have ongoing investigations pending that began when the incident occurred… The Village of Skokie is committed to reaching a full resolution in this matter.”