Graphic: Illinois Woman Sues Local Police For Excessive Force After Cops Refuse To Discipline Their Own


Cassandra Feuerstein of Chicago admits she did it: She was driving under the influence, so she pulled over to the side of the road and attempted to sleep it off. The police encountered her asleep behind the wheel and took her in, charging her with a DUI. Feuerstein didn’t contest the charges and pleaded guilty.

But she’s suing the Skokie, Ill., Police Department for what officer Michael Hart did to her while she was in custody. A caveat: portions of the video below are not pleasant to watch.

Surveillance video inside the police station’s booking area shows Feuerstein, cooperating fully as police ushered her into a cell. According to NBC Chicago, she asked the officers if she could call her husband, and Hart summoned her out of the cell. Then, less than a minute later, the video shows Hart throwing the 47-year-old, 110-pound Feuerstein headfirst into the cell with such force that she wasn’t able to prevent her face from slamming into the concrete bench lining the small room’s opposite wall.

Scroll to the 1:50 mark in the video above if you want to be disgusted. As Feuerstein lies in a growing pool of blood on the cell floor, officers and paramedics return to attend to her in an ordeal that drags on, inside the cell, for several more minutes. A semi-censored, shortened video synopsis of the incident and its bloody aftermath was reported by CBS Chicago.

The NBC Chicago report also has some gruesome pictures of how Feuerstein’s face looked as she recovered. Feuerstein suffered several broken bones in her skull. She now has a permanent titanium plate in her face after enduring reconstructive surgery.

The incident occurred March 10, but Feuerstein’s attorney released video of her jail nightmare this week after filing a Federal lawsuit against the department for police brutality, as well as for Hart allegedly making false statements that led to the writing of a misleading police report.

That report had originally led to an additional charge against Feuerstein for resisting arrest, but prosecutors dropped that charge after reviewing the video evidence.

Since the incident, department officials have given Feuerstein’s case all the moral high ground it needs. Local authorities have declined to discipline officer Hart, and he is still on the job for the Skokie police.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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