Strip Searches In Blood, Vomit And Urine

A federal jury found that the Cook County Sheriff's Department in Illinois illegally searched hundreds of thousands of inmates.

Jurors heard from two dozen former inmates who said they were subjected to mass strip searches while being made to stand naked in blood, vomit and urine on the jail floor.

Attorneys estimated half a million male inmates went through the Cook County jai in the last two years, and they were all subjected to group strip searches in a dirty hallway.

"You got 80, 90 men shoulder to shoulder," one former inmate said. "You're bending down, spreading your butt cheeks. You got officers disrespecting you, talking to you any kind of way."

"It doesn't matter what you did," another former inmate said. "Maybe for a parking violation or moving violation and subjected to this kind of treatment. We're out there for at least 30 or 40 minutes naked waiting for them to search us. I saw a gentleman punched in the face."

While the jury has found in favor of the inmates, they have not yet heard arguments about how the county should be penalized. Attorneys are looking for former inmates for a class action lawsuit.

The sheriff's office says the jail now uses a scanning device instead of most strip searches. It maintains nothing inappropriate happened, and no one's constitutional rights were violated.

The sheriff's department is planning an appeal of the jury's decision.

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  • by Abbi Location: LaGrange on Aug 16, 2009 at 09:16 AM
    Parking violations are an infraction. You cannot go to jail for such...Unless you didn't make your court apperance. Cry on someone else's shoulder! You act like an animal you should be treated as such!
  • by Allen Location: Kisnton on Aug 16, 2009 at 05:51 AM
    You could not be more wrong Jeff. Just because you go to jail does not mean your living a life of crime. And I can not recall any Law-abiding Citizens going through something like this or worse.
  • by Jeff Location: Winterville on Aug 15, 2009 at 03:31 PM
    These people choose to live the life of crime and be tough thugs. Now they just want to whine. Get over it. The physical abuse is uncalled for. But don't whine because you're humiliated. A lot of innocent law-abiding citizens go through a lot worse.
  • by pete Location: grifton on Aug 15, 2009 at 02:34 PM
    Sounds like a bunch of NAZI STORM TROOPERS in charge.
  • by Cactus Location: Strabane on Aug 15, 2009 at 02:27 PM
    Don't you just love it when thugs whine, not so "tuff".
  • by MrT Location: LaNC on Aug 15, 2009 at 02:24 PM
    According to the story, some of them were there for minor offenses, and didn't deserve to be treated like animals.Also, how long does it take for a deputy to put his doughnut down for two minutes, pick up a mop, and mop across the floor with some bleach water?If it atkes a little longer to take them one by one into a room to strip, then the cops should just make some overtime.
  • by Criminals Location: Cook County on Aug 15, 2009 at 08:37 AM
    Give me a break this is not like each guy has a probe stuck in him. They do a "Visual" strip search to make sure no contraband is not brought in. No picknick for the guards here the smell has to be awful...Oh by the way if you are in jail what do you expect.
  • by Emily Location: Greenville on Aug 15, 2009 at 06:15 AM
    Mr. T, the officers were probably acting on orders from their supervisors. And do you know how long it takes to properly strip search an inmate?? It takes a while. Most jails and prisons do not have adequate staff to afford each inmate a private strip search. It goes without saying that when you become an inmate, certain rights are given up. If you don't want to be strip searched, keep your butt out of prison. And the comment about officers with big hands for cavity searches shows that you have no idea what you're talking about. Only medical staff are authorized to do "invasive" searches.
  • by Joe Location: gville on Aug 15, 2009 at 05:52 AM
    It is jail, it isn't supposed to be a picnic.
  • by MrT Location: LaNC on Aug 15, 2009 at 05:30 AM
    All the officers that were present at a mass strip search should be locked up, and given a mass strip search.Get someone with huge hands to do the cavity searches.Then fire all of them and hire new ones.Make them watch a video of what happened to the last officers that abused their authority.

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