Suit: 'Sadistic violence' at Cook County Jail

February 27, 2014

The Associated Press

Cook County Jail in Chicago.

CHICAGO — A new lawsuit alleges rampant "sadistic violence and brutality" at the Cook County Jail, one of the largest lockups in the country.

Attorneys filed it Thursday in federal court in Chicago on behalf of male inmates at the facility, which detains around 2,000 men.

The suit alleges " sadistic violence and brutality," which lawyers say "is not the work of a few rogue officers." It calls it "a systemic problem."

Among the allegations is a claim that guards threaten inmates with code words known for a beating — threatening to take "an elevator ride," where no cameras are able to capture an attack.

Lawyers for MacArthur Justice Center and the Uptown People's Law Center filed the suit.

A message seeking comment from the Cook County Sheriff's Office wasn't immediately returned.