Published on Oct 11, 2013
Chicago woman Cassandra Feuerstein is suing police in Skokie, Illinois after an officer allegedly shoved her so hard her face smashed against a concrete jail cell bench, shattering bones in her face.
Feuerstein had been drinking and driving and was found on the morning of March 10, slumped in car parked in an intersection, with her foot on the brake. The 47-year-old mother of two was arrested and taken into custody.
According to reports, Feuerstein admitted to driving under the influence and complied with the police during her arrest. While in custody, she asked to call her family and Officer Michael Hart called her out of the cell. Moments later, as it shown in a CCTV video, Hart returned with Feuerstein, then, without obvious reason, shoved her with enough force to send her across the cell, bringing her face down on the concrete bench along a wall.
Feuerstein lay crumpled on the floor as a pool of blood collected next to her. Hart returned, unmoved by the effects of his actions. Another police officer entered the cell shortly thereafter to comfort her and look after her injury. He was followed by two other officers who tried to stop the bleeding with what appears to be either paper or gauze.
The impact shattered bones in Feuerstein's face and knocked loose teeth on her right side. She had to undergo reconstructive surgery and now has titanium plates in her face. Though specific figures are mentioned in the lawsuit, the document states she is seeking damages, including costs for the surgery.
Feuerstein has pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol, however a previous charge of obstructing a police officer was dismissed, according to the Skokie Review.
Hart has not had any charges brought against him, but in light of the lawsuit, he was assigned to station duty and no longer has contact with the public.
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