Former Alderman Tillman arrested in Alabama

Chicago civil rights activist Dorothy Tillman arrested in Alabama
March 2, 2008 9:10:27 PM PST
Former Chicago Alderman Dorothy Tillman has been arrested at an Alabama hospital and charged with criminal trespassing. Tillman said police put her in leg chains and shackles.

The former alderman was back at home in Chicago Sunday night. She spent 102 minutes in jail before being bailed out by a Montgomery, Alabama pastor.

Tillman traveled to her native city for a funeral and to visit family members. She took her aunt to a local hospital and was arrested after becoming frustrated over her aunt's care and medical records.

Admittedly sore, Tillman arrived home Sunday night after a very long day. Twelve hours earlier, she was forced to take a picture in her Alabama. Known for array of hats, Tillman was not allowed to wear one for a mug shot.

Tillman was arrested after a confrontation with hospital officials over the care of her ailing aunt. She says officers used excessive force.

"I'm hurt. My wrist was all swollen. They put shackles on my legs. Really, it made no sense," Tillman said.

Tillman also said officers knocked her to the ground and threatened to Taser her. Everything happened, Tillman said, after she requested her Aunt Mabel's medical records. Tillman demanded them after, she said, her 86-year-old aunt received poor care during any overnight visit.

"They said, 'You are not going to get the records. Leave.'"

While Tillman claimed she did not scream or say anything offensive to hospital staff, Jackson Hospital officials said she was disruptive to the point that they felt it necessary to contact hospital security.

They said they explained to Tillman the hospital's policy concerning medical records.

"active charts are not released at the time of discharge to paitients. The charts must be lcosed and sent to a medical records area before release ...before release," said

Tillman is scheduled to appear in a Montgomery court March 31.

In the meantime, she has plans to go to a doctor Monday to get treatment for injuries she said she received during the arrest, and she plans to take legal action against Jackson Hospital and the Montgomery police.

Sunday was not the first time Tillman spent time in the Montgomery jail. The former civil rights activist was arrested during the civil rights movement.