Caught on video: Chicago police officer beats man in holding cell as another cop holds him down

CPD said both officers have served their time and are back on the street.

Sarah Schulte Image
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
CPD cop beats man in holding cell as another holds him down: VIDEO
Video shows Chicago Police Department Officer Jerold Williams beating Damien Stewart in a holding cell as Delgado Fernandez holds him down.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Damien Stewart admits he has made mistakes in the past, which includes breaking the law, but the 31-year-old man said he never did anything to deserve a beating from two Chicago police officers while in a holding cell at the 4th District almost four years ago.

"They struck me. I don't know why they struck me. I didn't say anything, or make any aggressive movements," Stewart said.

Stewart said it all started with a traffic stop at the corner of 75th and Stoney Island during May of 2019.

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"They were saying I was pulled over because I had no front or back plates. The tags had expired. If you fail emissions test, they take your front and back plate off," Stewart said.

Stewart said the officers also found an illegal gun in the car. He was arrested and taken to the 4th Police District around 3 a.m. The officers who originally pulled him over, Jerold Williams and Delgado Fernandez, woke Stewart up to search him for a third time.

"Even though I didn't want to again, I complied," Stewart said.

While there is no audio, the holding cell video obtained by Stewart's lawyers, shows Williams striking Stewart with a closed fist several times. Fernandez appears to hold Stewart down while Williams delivers more blows to the head.

Stewart said he was taken to the hospital, but was not seriously physically injured.

"There is no room or place for that kind of uncalled violence on an unarmed man who is already in police custody. It's uncalled for and it's appalling," said William Calloway, a community organizer.

Calloway is calling for Williams to be fired. Chicago police said he was given a 15-day suspension and Fernandez received a 10-day suspension. CPD said both officers have served their time and are back on the street.

Stewart did file a civil suit against the police department. He received a $45,000 settlement.

Stewart used some of the money for bail on a 2021 case that also began with a traffic stop.