A Chicago woman charged with DUI and obstructing a peace officer back in March says in a lawsuit that a Skokie, Ill., Police officer used excessive force.
In her civil rights lawsuit filed Tuesday, Cassandra Feuerstein, 47, claims Skokie Police Officer Michael Hart used excessive force when she was arrested.
Video of the event made headlines and Hart was charged with brutality.
“At the door of the open jail cell, defendant Hart gave plaintiff a violent shove in the back, using both of his hands,” according the lawsuit she filed.
“Defendant Hart used so much force in doing this that the plaintiff was flung across the cell head first into a cement bench at the far side of the cell.”
The suit states that Feuerstein’s face was “split open” and that she began to bleed profusely. She broke several bones in her face, her lawyer said.
The lawsuit also claims that Hart made false statements to others at the department, erroneously accusing her of resisting efforts to be escorted into a jail cell.
Feuerstein’s lawyer, Torreya Hamilton, subpoenaed footage that shows a man in uniform pushing her into a cell and then her head striking a concrete bench:
“He whips her through the door and into the cell. There was no threat to any of the police officers. It’s clear on the video that the [behavior] was indefensible.”
Feuerstein underwent facial reconstruction surgery and now has a titanium plate in her face. All of the teeth on the right side of her mouth are loose.
The full extent of the damage is not yet known, she said.
The lawsuit doesn’t ask for a specific amount in damages. The suit states Feuerstein is seeking “a fair and just amount sufficient to compensate her."
The Skokie police report of Feuerstein’s arrest states she was parked at an intersection with her right foot resting on the brake pedal, police said.
Feuerstein pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol, Hamilton said Wednesday. The charge of obstructing a police officer was dismissed.
Judge Jeffrey L. Warnick sentenced her to one year of court-ordered supervision and ordered her to pay a roughly $1,600 fine, according to court records.
The resisting arrest charge against and three other traffic citations were dropped, records show. Hamilton said her client had no previous charges.