Skokie Police Officer Hart was charged with Official Misconduct and Aggravated Battery in the widely publicized shoving incident with a DUI detainee. According to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office,
A Skokie police officer has been arrested and is facing felony criminal charges in connection with an incident in which the officer is captured on videotape forcibly shoving a female arrestee into a jail cell resulting in significant injuries to the woman including facial fractures that required reconstructive surgery as well as vision and dental problems, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced today.
Michael Hart, 43, of Gurnee, Illinois, was charged today with the felony offenses of Aggravated Battery and Official Misconduct in connection with the incident. Hart will appear in bond court today at the George Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago. He has been employed as a full time Skokie police officer since 1994.
Skokie’s Patch.com Reports that Hart “became irate” with the female detainee during the booking process when she repeatedly disregarded his command to look at a specific location on a camera lens in order to allow him to take an arrest and booking photo of the defendant.
After the woman disobeyed Hart’s final command, the officer grabbed her forcibly by the arm and pulled her towards an open detention cell. At the entrance of the cell, the detainee attempted to use both hands to grasp the sides of the doorway, regain her balance and request that she have another opportunity to be photographed. At that point, Officer Hart, who was behind the detainee, is alleged to have put both of his hands on the woman’s back and pushed her forcefully into the cell.
According to prosecutors, the force of the shove propelled the woman across the cell causing her face and head to slam into an unpadded concrete bench. The face-first impact with the concrete fractured the woman’s right orbital bone, loosened some of her teeth and opened a deep cut on her cheek. The orbital fracture required reconstructive surgery during which a titanium plate was inserted in the woman’s cheek. She also suffers vision and dental problems as a result of the incident.
All of the events were captured and recorded by video surveillance cameras mounted throughout the Skokie police station.