Guards at one of the nation’s largest jails systematically engage in “sadistic violence and brutality” against inmates, according to a federal class-action lawsuit filed on Thursday.
But an official responsible for overseeing the Cook County Jail, Sheriff Tom Dart, told reporters the lawsuit was an exaggeration and, taken as a whole, was “a fictional account.”
Lawyers filed the 59-page suit in U.S. District Court in Chicago on behalf of male inmates at the sprawling Chicago jail, which the filing says is overcrowded with 2,000 male inmates at any one time.
The lawsuit says officers sometimes threaten inmates with code words for beatings, asking if they want “an elevator ride,” where cameras can’t record attacks.
“The sadistic violence and brutality … is not the work of a few rogue officers,” the lawsuit alleges. “It is a systemic problem.”
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