A Chicago man was held down, beaten with brass knuckles and left naked in a jail cell before being taken to a hospital for injuries where he was then beaten again by the same cop while still handcuffed.
Chicago police officer Clauzell Gause was charged with official misconduct on May 17 after newly-released surveillance video from 2014 captured him pushing a handcuffed man into a hospital room, throwing him face-first into a wall and then punching him in the face before shoving him onto a hospital bed.
According to a lawsuit filed by the victim’s attorney, Jerome James was in a restaurant drive-thru throwing a beer bottle in the trash when he was arrested and taken to Calumet District lockup on June 3, 2014.
There, he exchanged words with one of the officers, which prompted a vicious assault by Gause, who beat him with brass knuckles while another officer held him down.
According to the Chicago Tribune, video footage from the jail shows Gause carrying something metal in his hand after attacking James, but the city’s law department denies video from inside the cell shows the beating.
After beating James, Gause and a second officer who has not yet been charged, stripped him naked and left him for hours in a jail cell, bloodied and with a broken tooth, according to the lawsuit.
Only after another inmate complained to a supervising sergeant that he needed medical attention was James transported to Roseland Community Hospital.
That’s where the 6-foot-6 Gause who weighs 235 pounds claims he was suddenly assaulted by James during a blood pressure check, which prompted him to handcuff the man, and then reciprocate the alleged assault, along with another officer.
However, video of that assault has yet to surface.
According to prosecutors, photographs and medical records show James suffered swelling and lacerations to his forehead.
Julie Herrera, an attorney for James, told the Tribune that officers at Roseland Community Hospital claimed James was a “violent mental” and sedated him against his will before they transported him to Jackson Park Hospital for a mental evaluation, where it was determined he had no mental issues.
He was released without being criminally charged later that day.
Records show the city of Chicago settled the lawsuit with James in December of 2015 for $60,000.
Gause was demoted to desk duty, but remains on the department’s payroll. Anthony Guglielmi, Chicago Police Department’s chief spokesperson, said it was unclear if further disciplinary action would be taken in light of the recent felony charge.
According to city records, Clauzell Gause managed to stockpile 11 complaints from 2006-2014 including a 2013 excessive force complaint and the one made by James, who filed his complaint with the Independent Police Review Authority three days after the assault at the hospital.
An attorney for Gause, William Fahy, however, told Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. in court on Tuesday that the officer had no disciplinary record.
After telling Gause he had to face the consequences of his actions, Judge Bourgeois said, “I don’t think locking you up is going to serve any purpose. … I don’t think you are a danger to anybody.”
Fahy told the judge his client ‘served the police department honorably’.
Judge Bourgeois declined to watch video of the incident after the state attorney insisted twice and released Gause on his own recognizance, which means the officer did not have to pay bail.
If convicted, Gause faces anywhere from probation to five years in prison.