A Chicago woman charged with DUI filed a lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court claiming that a Skokie Police Officer used excessive force during her arrest. According to police reports, Cassandra Feuerstein, 47, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after she was found parked in the middle of an intersection, slumped over inside her vehicle with her right foot resting on the brake pedal.
Once back at the station, video reportedly shows a man in a police uniform pushing her into a cell and her head striking a concrete bench. The suit states that Officer Michael Hart “used so much force that she was flung across the cell head first into a cement bench at the far side of the cell.” Feuerstein’s face “split open” and she began to bleed profusely. According to her lawyer, she broke several bones in her face. She underwent facial reconstruction surgery and has a titanium plate in her face. Her attorney says that she had no prior arrests or DUI charges. The lawsuit also alleges that the officer made false statements to others in the department regarding the reason he pushed Feuerstein into the cell, causing other officers to write false reports on the incident.
Feuerstein pleaded guilty to DUI and the charges for obstructing a police officer and additional traffic citations were dismissed. Feuerstein was sentenced to one year of court supervision and approximately $1,600 in fines and court costs. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. The village stated that it is “committed to reaching a full resolution in this matter.” The officer involved has been placed on station duty during the investigation.
Woman sues Skokie Police, alleges cop threw her into concrete bench, www.suntimes.com, October 10, 2013
Woman sues Skokie and officer, citing injury after DUI arrest, www.chicagotribune.com, October 10, 2013