Thursday, October 31, 2013

Charges filed against Skokie officer in videotaped jail cell incident

Earlier this month, CRL&P noted that a woman from Illinois had filed a civil rights lawsuit after a Skokie police officer shoved her face-first into a jailcell bench, causing serious injuries. Today, The Chicago Tribune reports that the police officer has been charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct. The title of this post comes from the article, which begins:

A Skokie police officer caught on video shoving a woman into a cell bench had become irate after she wouldn't look into the camera for her booking photo, according to prosecutors who have charged the officer with aggravated battery and official misconduct.

Officer Michael Hart pushed Cassandra Feuerstein so hard that it broke her eye socket, cut her cheek and loosened her teeth, prosecutors said. She needed reconstructive surgery to place a titanium plate in her cheek and still suffers vision problems and numbness in her face, her attorney said.

The charges came after Feuerstein's attorney, Torri Hamilton, filed a federal lawsuit this month alleging police brutality in the case and released a police video of the incident that attracted widespread attention on the Internet.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez announced the charges Wednesday, saying her office takes the case "very seriously."

"It's pretty clear that he stepped over the line," Alvarez said. "Obviously (police officers) are there because of the public trust. ... It's a sad day when we have to announce charges against a police officer."

42 U.S.C. § 1983, Civil Rights Litigation, Prisons and Prisoners | Permalink


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