Friday, October 11, 2013

Chicago Woman Brutalized by Police

I've written before about how I'm somewhat distrustful of police officers in general and stories like this only add to that sense of unease. The problem I have with police is not so much that they like any other human being can lose their temper or their patience, have or show prejudice and bigotry, or resort to violence more quickly than is required. After all those are all human traits . It would be silly to single out police officers for those failings. No, as we've discussed before the problem with police, who are after all agents of the state, is that they often get away with these things and/or are rarely held accountable to the full extent of the law. After all prosecutors often work hand in hand with police departments. So of course many prosecutors aren't often necessarily looking to arrest, prosecute and convict police officers, no matter how far they get out of line. This is bad because by law, custom and the fact they tend to be both armed and larger than you, people generally give physical deference to the police. We allow them to lay hands on us, arrest us and take us into custody precisely because we accept the authority of the state. Well what if the state consistently starts to behave in such a manner that a reasonable man or (in this case) woman decides that authority is no longer valid?

A Chicago woman has sued the village of Skokie and one of its police officers, alleging she was seriously injured after being shoved headfirst into a jail cell bench after a drunken driving arrest last winter. Cassandra Feuerstein, 47, said in a federal lawsuit that the incident required facial reconstructive surgery and the insertion of a titanium plate to "replace the bones that had been shattered."
Part of the alleged incident was recorded on jail video cameras, which Feuerstein's attorney, Torreya Hamilton, released Wednesday."The video speaks for itself," Hamilton said. "She does nothing to justify what this male police officer does." In a written statement released today, Village Manager Albert Rigoni said the village has “deep concern for Ms. Cassandra Feuerstein’s injuries that occurred at the Skokie Police Station.” The statement said 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.
Feuerstein was arrested for drunken driving March 10, according to Hamilton and court documents. The video shows officers searching Feuerstein inside the jail cell, where she appears to be asked to remove her boots and bra before being removed from the cell for additional processing. An officer then takes Feuerstein by the arm and appears to push her back into the cell. Video shows Feuerstein falling forward and striking her head and face on a bench, before officers and paramedics tend to her as a pool of blood spreads on the floor.
According to Feuerstein’s lawyer, Torri Hamilton, seconds after her client asked to call her husband and children, the officer hurled the 110-pound woman back into the cell with such force that she fell and landed face first on a concrete bench.
Police brutality may be closer to home if you happen to be black but as more and more stories show, race won't protect you from running into a brutal cop who LIKES hurting people. As Angela Davis said, if they come for me in the morning they will come for you in the night. Such police are dangerous to all citizens they encounter, regardless of their race or gender. Watch the graphic video below the fold and let me know what you think. The officer involved has not been disciplined nor has he been criminally charged. Now if you got this angry at someone on your job and did what he did, what do you think would happen to you? I imagine immediate discharge followed by arrest would be most likely.


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