A Chicago woman, Cassandra Feuerstein, 47, is suing the town of Skokie, Illinois, claiming she was a victim of police brutality, reports CBS Chicago.
The above CCTV video shows Feuerstein just after being arrested for DUI in March 2013. After asking an officer if she can call her husband, she is removed from the cell for a few seconds. Then, at the 1:50 mark in the video, Feuerstein — who weighs 110 pounds — is shown being flung, face-first, into a concrete bench in the cell.
The lawsuit claims the incident caused shattered bones in Feuerstein’s face and that she required reconstructive surgery.
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.”
But her lawyer, Torri Hamilton, tells MyFoxChicago:
She was compliant, she was doing as she was told. What she was really concerned about and the thing she was most upset about that she wanted to call her children to let them know she was okay, because she wasn’t home. … I think when you look at this and you see the video which we are so fortunate to have, I think what you see is this is like the cowardly act of a bully.
The lawsuit names Officer Michael Hart as the man who caused Feuerstein’s injuries. The Chicago Tribune reports that “an officer involved has been placed on station duty, with no contact with the public, while both the village and the state’s attorney investigate.”
The 2010 annual Skokie Police Department report lists an Officer Michael Hart as a member of the Honor Guard — described as officers who “volunteer their time and devote many hours training to perfect their performance”:
A Facebook page for a Michael Hart, cited by a commenter on this article as being the page of the officer in question, has been removed. We have no confirmation that it was indeed the same Michael Hart, though his profile picture shows a police officer in a cruiser:
According to this police log:
On March 10, while on patrol, officers arrested Cassandra Feuerstein, 47, 2420 West Greenleaf, Chicago, for improper parking, no valid insurance, driving under the influence of alcohol and obstructing and resisting a police officer.
She pleaded guilty to DUI; the resisting arrest charge was dropped.
Below are screenshots from the video.