Friday, September 12, 2014

Lawsuit: Man beaten in Cook County jail more than 10 hours after judge ordered his release

Under the authority of Sheriff Tom Dart, Cook County inmates who’ve already been freed by a judge are taken back into the jail’s general population while they wait to be processed out.  
It’s a practice that’s been called unconstitutional. and more than a year ago Dart told WBEZ  he’d fix it.
But little has changed.
For one of the men who went through this process, Edward Shultz, going back into lockup turned out to be dangerous. 
Shultz went before a Cook County judge in suburban Bridgeview around 10 in the morning on May 8, 2013.
There he pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a weapon, a misdemeanor.
Shultz had been picked up about three weeks earlier after police officers in Oak Lawn found brass knuckles in his glove compartment during a traffic stop. He was taken to Cook County jail at 26th Street and California Avenue on Chicago’s West Side and stayed there while he awaited trial.
After he pleaded guilty, the judge ruled that the 20-or-so days he had spent waiting was sufficient punishment and ordered Shultz be released.
Shultz says he was relieved and excited to go back to his family.
Before he could do that, he was taken back to a holding cell where he says he waited more than seven hours to be bused back to the jail.
Around 6 p.m. in the evening, Shultz was in handcuffs being ushered back into Cook County jail.
“By the time they get you back to the jail, you know, the shift change comes and they leave you and you’re still in handcuffs and they put you in a large room all handcuffed together,” Shultz says.
After that, Shultz was returned to the deck where he had been living and he started to gather his things.
“I went into the washroom, a group of inmates walked in and started asking me questions and I told them I don’t know I’m just getting ready to go home. I was struck by an inmate. And at that time I was still conscious and about maybe six or seven more inmates ran in the bathroom on me,” Shultz says.
After that, he says, he was knocked unconscious.

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