A Chicago woman who was seriously injured when a cop threw her face first into a jail cell’s concrete bench following a DUI arrest is suing the cop she says used excessive force as well as the town of Skokie, Illinois. Cassandra Feuerstein, 47, claims in a federal lawsuit that she required reconstructive surgery to “replace the bones that had been shattered” and the insertion of a titanium plate after being pushed into the cell on March 10. Video released by Feuerstein’s attorney clearly shows the entire incident.
The less than 5-minute video shows Feuerstein being searched by a female officer. The officer and her then briefly leave the cell before a guard identified as Michael Hart shoves her back into the cell. The video shows Feuerstein’s face go into the concrete slab that runs the length of the cell before she crumples to the ground. It is unclear whether she lost consciousness or was just injured. Police officers quickly enter the cell to administer first aid as a pool of blood appears on the floor. Feuerstein claims the officer then filed a false report claiming she resisted police.
“The video speaks for itself,” Feuerstein’s lawyer Torreya Hamilton told reporters, “She does nothing to justify what this male police officer does.”
Feuerstein admits drinking and driving and has pled guilty to the charge.
“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.”
“This can go from 0-60 so quickly, like this man did with someone who’s clearly no threat to him is dangerous — could be dangerous with that type of power that he has,” Hamilton told News 5 Chicago.