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#Chicago_Chronicles - Inside Cook Hell : County Jails Releases 6 Videos Showing Officers Abusing Inmates

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office has released six videos with surveillance footage of officers violently abusing inmates in Chicago. One video shows an officer sucker-punching an inmate in a cell. Another shows officers dragging an inmate on the floor. In one video, officers acknowledged a camera was rolling.

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"They are all shades of bad," Cara Smith, the Cook County Sheriff Department’s spokesperson told the Sun-Times of the videos.

The videos were posted today on the sheriff's website along with case documents from each of the cases. Many of the videos do not have audio. The incidents documented in the videos all happened in 2011 and 2012, according to the Sun-Times. Fourteen officers were disciplined for the incidents shown: five were fired, one resigned and eight were suspended without pay for between 45 and 180 days.


In a statement, Teamsters 700 called the video release "nothing but a political move." They elaborated:
Posting these videos on pubic websites is not only a violation of privacy of our officers, but it’s infringing on their right to a fair trial. The “transparency” of these videos - as Dart calls it - only goes one way. It’s not a true outlook of what happens at the jail on a daily basis, which are only small clips of the entire alleged incidents.

Here is an incident in which an inmate was dragged into a cell with his pants around his ankles:

Clearly this is a poor representation of the collective issues at the jail. Just this week there was an officer at Division 10 that was dragged into a cell by an inmate and beaten. That officer needed plastic surgery to reconfigure part of his face. Where’s that video?

Since he took office, Sheriff Tom Dart has been posting the decisions from the Cook County Sheriff’s Merit Board publicly, and he plans to release even more video from the jail system's 2,400 cameras to accompany a backlog of Merit Board decisions. Dart told NBC that this is the first time jail videos of this nature have been released voluntarily, and said it's a first step in his "long-term campaign to restore accountability."

Here is one video that shows an officer punching an inmate. The lieutenant involved resigned,according to the sheriff's site:

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