An Iowa woman is consulting with former Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica's law firm as she contemplates a lawsuit against a Davenport police officer who has faced disciplinary action for the beating he gave her while she was questioned on suspicion of shoplifting.
Surveillance video of the February 18, 2013 incident at the Von Maur Department Store was given to The Better Government Association.
"I was crying and begging him to get off me," Brandie Redell, the woman who was beaten, said in a recent interview with the BGA. Her right eye was injured in the incident, and she says her vision is still impaired.
Prior to being hit about the face and head, Redell was being questioned by police after store employees reported she attempted to steal $388 worth of women's clothing. The officer, Scott Crow, said in his report he hit Redell because she bit his finger and wouldn't let go.
The video, however, shows Crow striking Redell with both fists.
Though Crow was not criminally charged -- a prosecutor cited a lack of evidence -- he did face disciplinary action from the Davenport Police Department. He remains on the force and could not be reached for comment.
Redell pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of shoplifting shoplifting and is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 23 in Scott County (Iowa) Court. Her criminal record includes two previous shoplifting convictions, records show. A second misdemeanor charge, assault causing injury to a peace officer, was dropped.
Redell contacted the Chicago-area-based nonprofit Living and Driving While Black Foundation, which referred her case to Peraica's firm.
The organization's president, David Lowery, is a former resident of Davenport.
"Our position is no matter what Ms. Redell's criminal record states, no human being should be assaulted by Davenport Police, who are to serve and protect," Lowery said.