Woman claims police brutality by Skokie police

Woman claims police brutality by Skokie police

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A Chicago woman is claiming that she was a victim of police brutality at the hands of a Skokie police officer and says that jailhouse videotapes prove her case.

Cassandra Feuerstein's lawyers say that until she was arrested for DUI last March, she'd never been arrested before, never even gotten a traffic ticket.

They describe her as a 47-year-old Loop receptionist, a mother of two, who did nothing to provoke the treatment she received from Skokie police.

On March 10, 2013, Feuerstein was arrested by Skokie Police for drunk driving. She was held at the Skokie Police Station after her arrest. She claims she was cooperative, never physically or verbally provoking police with her actions. And then, she claims, Officer Michael Hart shoved her into a holding cell face first, into a concrete bench.

"It breaks most of the bones in her face, and opens up a gash on her right cheek leaving a big pool of blood on the cell floor. She actually had to have facial reconstructive surgery and now has a titanium cheek as a result," her lawyer Torri Hamilton said.

Officer Hart gave a different version of events, later filing a complaint against Feuerstein, for resisting a peace officer. Those charges were dismissed after Cook County prosecutors reviewed the evidence.

"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," Hamilton said.

Feuerstein's lawsuit, naming Officer Hart and the Village of Skokie, claims the use of excessive force violated her civil rights. She told us through her attorney, "for my family to see me that way -- the way I looked when they finally let me go -- it was awful. If anyone else besides a police officer had done this to me, they would have been arrested."

"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," Hamilton said.

A spokesman for the Village of Skokie told Fox 32 that they haven't yet been served with the complaint in this case, and when that happens, the village lawyers will review it.

On Thursday, Officer Hart was placed on desk duty following the accusations.

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