Cook County Detainees Recorded in Bathroom

Free Case Evaluation

Cook County Detainees Recorded in Bathroom

A federal lawsuit has accused Cook County sheriff deputies of violating thousands of detainees’ rights by videotaping them while they used the bathrooms in their holding cells.

According to attorney Thomas Zimmerman, the cameras are hidden in holding cells so that deputies can, “secretly monitor in real time” detainees.

“There is no security interest in the sheriff monitoring them for weapons or other contraband, and certainly there’s no security interest in monitoring them while they use the toilet,” Zimmerman said. “The law is very clear across the country that a person retains a right of privacy to their body even when they’re in the custody of the sheriff.”

Michelle Urrutia, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said she saw an unmarked camera behind tinted brown glass inside her courthouse cell and thought a steel partition would block the camera view.

“You can’t see what the camera is actually pointed to,” she explained.

However, Urrutia talked to a sheriff’s office employee at a barbecue a few weeks later and found out what was visible.

“He’s like, ‘You know we can see everything in the holding cell . . . including you guys using the washroom?’ ” Urrutia said. “When I found out, I was very embarrassed. I felt ashamed, humiliated. I felt violated.”

Elizabether Alicea, another plaintiff in the lawsuit, said that she had to sit in a holding cell for several hours after she got arrested for shoplifting. She said she used the toilet several times and never imagined that she was being recorded. She added that she felt very embarrassed and humiliated.

“We vehemently deny the allegations that there are hidden or secret cameras focused on detainees’ private parts or the toilet areas of holding cells,” Dart’s policy director Cara Smith said. “Fixed cameras are present in the holding cells in courthouses as a critical tool to ensure the safety of staff, the safety of detainees and transparency of our operations.”

The lawsuit claims the deputies have violated the detainees’ Fourth Amendment rights and is seeking an unspecified amount of damages.

workers compensation attorneys in dc
[divi_library_shortcode id="987499082"]

Injury Attorneys DC, MD, VA – Get the Compensation You Deserve! Whether you have been injured in a car accident, a malpractice victim, injured on the job, as the result of shoddy craftsmanship, or in a slip and fall, we can help! Our experienced, competent attorneys excel in all areas of personal injury law.

Practice Areas 

FREE CASE EVALUATION

Our team is available and ready to help you with your case. Feel free to contact us via the form below or call us 24/7 at 202-955-4529

Recent Posts

Client Review

"The legal team at Cohen & Cohen did a great job I really appreciate the hard work on gating my compensation in a fair amount of time. Special thanks to Kris for a wonderful job."
Jose Rivera
Client Review

"I had a great experience with the team at Cohen & Cohen. From my intake attorney, Adam, to the paralegal, Bryan, who worked with me regularly for months to document and prepare my case, to Jill, the attorney who secured my settlement, I feel fortunate to have had their representation and expertise on my side."
Lea Harvey
Client Review

Read more:

Hear from our clients

If you have been injured, contact Cohen & Cohen for a free case evaluation today. Our staff is available 24/7 to assist you.

Cohen & Cohen has an  impeccable Client Satisfaction Rating with hundreds of
5 STAR Reviews. We are among the best-rated firms in the areas we serve.

Cohen & Cohen has an  impeccable Client Satisfaction Rating with hundreds of
5 STAR Reviews. We are among the best-rated firms in the areas we serve.

L Proctor
August 30, 2022.
My experience with Cohen &Cohen was beyond my expectations. Jill did an amazing job with negotiating on my behalf and got me way more money than I anticipated. Thank you for having my back.
Ebony Stoutmiles
June 23, 2022.
To say that I am happy with the outcome of my case is the understatement of the century! Jill Stanley is a BEAST at what she does. That is the only way to explain it. She takes no prisoners. She and her team are very skilled and knowledgeable. I am so happy I trusted them to do their job and rolled with Jill's suggestions. I would choose Jill again 100 times. She settled my case for more than I imagined I would receive. I was literally in tears. It is the best feeling to know my pain isn't for naught. Wayne Cohen and Kristopher Yorke were nothing short of amazing. They have the patience of saints. I'm 100% certain that I got on their last nerves with my frustration and tears at every other call I had with them. Being in pain and wanting to just be able to heal was all I could focus on, but they helped me realize that I also had to focus on the bigger picture (the case) so I could put this piece behind me. As a high-strung individual with anxiety, it was hard for me to not worry and let them do their jobs, but they reassured me all of the time that they had this. To be injured before the start of the pandemic and have to receive regular, weekly treatment while others are able to stay home is anxiety inducing. I was in pain, I was anxious, and I was just hoping it all worked out. It more than worked out. I hope Jill, Siri, and Kris know how much their hard work and "hanging in there" meant to me. I am eternally grateful. I can't recommend you all enough. If you choose this law firm, you won't be sorry!
Beloved Temple
June 3, 2022.
I was very pleased with the handling of my case and settlement with Cohen& Cohen. I appreciate them, would highly recommend them.
willie howell
May 25, 2022.
COHEN & COHEN ARE THE BEST I WAS INVOLVED IN A REAR END CAR CRASH AND 2 YEARS LATER I HAVE RECEIVED MY SETTLEMENT I AM VERY EXCITED TO SAY BRYAN!!! IS THE MAN HE INSURED THEY WILL TAKE CARE OF ME AND THEY DID 100% ANY QUESTIONS I ASKED THEY WERE ANSWERED. Jill and SIRI WAS ALSO REMARKABLE AND SHOWED THEY REALLY CARED I RECOMMEND COHEN &COHEN TO ANYONE THEY ALSO MADE SURE I GOT MORE THAN EXPECTED WHICH WAS AMAZING I APPRECIATE YOU GUYS THANK U💯
Jose Rivera
May 25, 2022.
The legal team at cohen & cohen did a great job I really appreciate the hard work on gating my compensation in a fair amount of time. Special thanks to Kris for a wonderful job
Lea Harvey
May 25, 2022.
I had a great experience with the team at Cohen & Cohen. From my intake attorney, Adam, to the paralegal, Bryan, who worked with me regularly for months to document and prepare my case, to Jill, the attorney who secured my settlement, I feel fortunate to have had their representation and expertise on my side.
Cameron Galloway (HustleDaGod)
May 19, 2022.
Kris was phenomenal. Spectacular communication & knowledge in regards to my case. Would definitely return if I needed more legal services. 100% definitely recommend.