US Marijuana Party

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Teen tells of juvenile center beating

By Ofelia Casillas
Chicago Tribune

A former resident of the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center says he was beaten so hard in December that his eardrum ruptured, the latest in a growing list of complaints about violence at the controversial facility.

Roosevelt Thompson, 16, was sent to the center Dec. 22, suspected of possessing marijuana.

Thompson, who told his story publicly for the first time Monday, said it isn't clear why the guard attacked him. But he said that after he took off his shoes and pants to enter his room--standard procedure--a staff member came in, hit him with a closed fist and kicked him until another staff member pulled the guard off.

"He kept on hitting me until I fell on the floor," Thompson said. "He was kicking and punching while I was on the ground."

Thompson's story is emerging just days after the Annie E. Casey Foundation found "multiple instances of battery or assault by staff on residents," in a study commissioned by the county.


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