Skokie to Pay $875K in Excessive Force Settlement - NBC Chicago

Skokie to Pay $875K in Excessive Force Settlement

The village must pay the settlement to Cassandra Feuerstein, who was seriously injured in a 2013 DUI arrest. Surveillance video caught former Officer Michael Hart throwing Feuerstein face-first into a concrete bench



    Woman Claims Skokie Cops Assaulted Her

    Watch surveillance video of an incident that led Cassandra Feuerstein to file a lawsuit against the Skokie Police Department. She claims she was assaulted while in custody after she was arrested for DUI. Feuerstein's attorney Torri Hamilton describes the incident. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013)

    The Village of Skokie agreed to pay a $875,000 settlement to a Chicago woman who accused a police officer of using excessive force during her arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence.

    Court documents show two separate settlements have been reached with Cassandra Feuerstein, according to the Chicago Tribune. Feuerstein filed a lawsuit against the Skokie Police Department after she said former Officer Michael Hart seriously injured her during a drunk driving arrest in March 2013.

    Feuerstein, now 48, was arrested for DUI after officers found her pulled over at the side of the road and asleep behind the wheel.

    Surveillance video released in 2013 attracted much attention, as it appeared to show the officer throwing Feuerstein back into her cell, launching her face-first into a cement bench.

    Feuerstein claimed several bones were shattered in her face, and that she suffered nerve damage from the injury. She said she needed reconstructive surgery and a titanium plate in her cheek. 

    assandra-Feuerstein's InjuriesHart wrote in the police report that Feuerstein was not looking at the camera while being processed and she received an additional charge of resisting arrest.

    The State's Attorney later dropped the resisting arrest charges, and Feuerstein pleaded guilty to drunk driving. She received a sentence of one year of supervision. 

    Hart, a 19-year veteran of the police force, resigned from the Skokie Police Department in Nov. 2013 after the village said it would begin termination proceedings against him. He was charged in early 2014 with felony aggravated battery and official misconduct, pleading guilty to the latter. He was sentenced in Nov. 2014 to two years probation. 

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