Former Will Co. jail inmate sues over alleged excessive force

A former Will County Jail inmate claims newly released video shows the use of excessive force by jail workers.
March 14, 2014 3:32:10 PM PDT
A former Will County Jail inmate claims newly released video shows the use of excessive force by jail workers.

That former inmate talked about the federal lawsuit he's filed against the Will County Sheriff's Department. Attorneys for the sheriff's department say there's another side to the story.

Will County is the latest sheriff's department to face a federal lawsuit - and, like ones in Cook and LaSalle counties, there are allegations that jail workers were abusive. In Will County, former inmate Daniel Bailey, of Mokena, is speaking out for the first time Friday after his lawyer says he recently received the in-house jail video.

What the video shows is at the center of a civil rights lawsuit filed against Sheriff Paul Kaupas and several officers.

"I was seeing stars as I was getting these blows," Bailey said. "It's kind of a blur. I was unable to do anything."

Bailey and his lawyer call it excessive force. Although the federal lawsuit was filed last May, Bailey's attorney says he just received the jailhouse video as part of the case.

"There's lots of inmates that file pleadings that make allegations, but it isn't that often that you can see with your own eyes what's taking place or what occurred in this case," said David Hurst, plaintiff's attorney.

But lawyers representing the sheriff and officers argue this lawsuit is "frivolous and without merit" - and have released a statement, saying in part: of Bailey, "he grabbed at one officer's belt, bit another officer's finger and grabbed a male officer's genitals. in order to get Mr. Bailey to stop and prevent him from causing serious injury to the officer whose genitals he was grabbing, another officer located closest to Mr. Bailey's head struck him several times."

The attorneys for Will County also say Bailey refused to proceed to another cell and turned combative on the ground.

"We didn't see Mr. Bailey do anything to provoke the kind of attack that came upon him," Hurst said.

In the end, the lawsuit claims a bloodied Bailey was injured and had to be transported to the hospital. Will County lawyers say Bailey's injuries were brought upon himself.

"I don't want to see this happen to other people," Bailey said.

"It's offensive and it really tells a story," Hurst said. "These things just shouldn't happen."

Bailey was originally arrested for residential burglary and trespassing. After what happened in jail, he was also charged for felony battery to the peace officers. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery. In turn, three of the officers have counter-sued Bailey.

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