Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cult of Compliance - Woman Thrown into Cement Bench

Jonathan Turley brings us another example of what I call the Cult of Compliance:

In this article and attached video, police throw a woman into a concrete bench, breaking several bones in her face. A lawsuit has followed.

They arrested Cassandra Feuerstein in Skokie after finding her asleep at the wheel, and charged her with drunk driving. Later, they added resisting arrest to the charges. Here are more details:
The video below shows a calm Feuerstein who asks to call her husband and kids. Officer Michael Hart calls her out of the cell, and less than 20 seconds later, the video shows Hart throwing the 110-pound woman back into the cell — face-first into a cement bench.
The pictures are very disturbing and I won't link to them here, but you can go see them on Turley's blog following the link above.

Turley continues:
The police report states that the resisting arrest charge was based on the grounds that Feuerstein “knowingly resisted … in that she pulled away from (the officer) and placed both her hands on the sides of the cell door all in an attempt to not be placed into the holding cell.” That charge appears entirely spurious and abusive and reads like a transparent effort to coerce a victim into silence in hopes of a plea deal. Yet, again, the officer does not appear to have been disciplined and the prosecutors took no action other than dropping the obviously baseless charge.
So she's driving drunk (which is bad), thankfully doesn't hurt anyone, and is arrested. Why, then, is this 110 lb woman thrown into the cement bench? Here's the key detail, I think:
A police report says that Feuerstein was not looking at the camera when being processes [sic] and then charged her with resisting arrest while being brought back to the cell. 
DISCLAIMER: I have no more data than you do. I have not seen the whole police report. But I've read a lot of incident reports now and followed story after story about police brutality. And that little detail stands out. 

THIS IS SPECULATION, but what I think happened is as follows: The woman refused to look at the camera while being processed, then is taken back to her cell by an officer angry at her non-compliance, so the officers flings her inside. I don't think the officer intended to break her face, I think the officer believes that being obeyed is mandatory, and non-compliance must be met with violence.

The cult of compliance rolls on.

Edit: Here's a local news story.

4 comments:

  1. I'm not a lawyer and have little experience with being arrested, but wasn't the arrest already over by the time she was put in the cell? I mean, they arrested her on the scene, took her to the station, and finished processing her. She's done being arrested at that point; any resisting arrest she could do would have to be earlier. Even if she did resist being thrown into the cell, they would still not have any case for the resisting arrest charge; the arrest is over.

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    1. Well, I don't know the specifics of at what point "Arrest" is over - if you resist being put in the holding cell, is that still "arrest?" I genuinely don't know.

      Here's what I do know - the prosecutor dropped the resisting arrest charge, so he/she agreed it was bogus.

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  2. The film has been edited for length, making it appear that shoving her into the cell happened immediately following the booking photo incident. The reaction to her reported non-compliance is clear right there -- an officer grabs her arm and jerks her -- hard -- away from the booking camera while co-workers are calling "wait" and "wait, we're not getting...." The "okay, we're done" followed by the jerk is a mere 13 seconds after his "There you go" following the instruction to lift up her head. We don't have footage or other evidence of them being at the booking camera longer; when the image and audio cut in, it sounds like he's telling her how to position herself for the photo.

    She's sober enough at that point to smoothly remove her bra from underneath her sweater, but I'm reminded of my own moment of very-sober confusion when I had a photo taken for my driver's license renewal this past summer. And that was just with one person instructing me to do something I wanted to do. I agree with your speculation. The officer's actions reflect the belief that not only is obedience mandatory, it much also be utterly immediate, without pause or anything that might be interpreted as hesitation.

    Not okay. So not okay. That you for writing about this.

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    1. Yeah. In my mind, there's a clear extension from that jerk away from the camera to being flung into the cell. There's a lawsuit and the full video will be involved no doubt. Thanks for commenting. I

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