47-year-old Cassandra Feuerstein was arrested in Skokie, Illinois for drunk driving on March 10. Her experience was far from a routine DUI arrest.
After Feuerstein was pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol, she fell asleep in her car and was subsequently arrested.
Feuerstein was then taken to the station, where one officer threw her head-first into a concrete bench — her face was shattered as a result.
The unsettling incident was caught on video:
Now Feuerstein is suing the police officer, Michael Hart, who threw her. She claims that multiple bones in her face needed to be replaced with reconstructive surgery after being shattered.
Before Feuerstein was shoved by Hart, there was no evidence on video of her being aggressive towards the officers. In fact, the beginning of the video shows her being very compliant with a female officer as she was pat down and searched.
The video then shows Hart throwing Feuerstein face-first into the cell. After Feuerstein’s face hit a concrete bench, a large pool of blood collected around her.
One officer entered the cell to help Feuerstein and slow the bleeding until she was sent to the hospital.
At this time, it is unclear why Hart threw Feuerstein so forcefully. He filed a report, asserting that the 47-year-old was not cooperating with the officers, but Feuerstein claims this is not true.
Torreya Hamilton, the attorney representing Feuerstein, said, “The video speaks for itself. She does nothing to justify what this male police officer does. If this was a tavern fight… it’d be like she got sucker-punched.”
The town of Skokie has spoken out on the incident. Ann Tennes, a Skokie spokeswoman, said, “The Village of Skokie expresses deep concern for Ms Cassandra Feuerstein’s injuries that occurred at the Skokie Police Station earlier this year. Officer Michael Hart has been on station duty and has no contact with the public. Both the Village of Skokie and the Cook County State’s Attorney have ongoing investigations pending that began when the incident occurred.”