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Sheriff's Dept. Documents Confirm Gay-Bashing by Guards

Internal Sheriff's Dept. documents obtained by CABN reveal investigators found three Cook County Sheriffs Deputies guilty of beating up Gay Chicagoan Terry Phalen, and lying about it....yet the Sheriff's Dept. doesn't want to fire them, and States Atty Dick Devine isn't prosecuting them.
In what job can you...

1) Physically attack a member of the public...

2) Be found guilty by your boss of this beating...

3) Be found guilty by your boss of lying about the attack...

4) And then have this same boss insist on keeping you on the job?

Welcome to the surreal world of the Cook County Sheriff's Department!

On October 28, 1999 Cook County Sheriff deputies attacked Terry Phalen while processing him into the 26th and California jail. Terry, who is a bit deaf, didn't hear the deputies when they told prisoners to put their hands behind their backs. The deputies slugged Phalen for not doing as he was told. When another prisoner suggested that Phalen is Gay, guards started calling him "fag," "queer" and "cocksucker," and dramatically intensified their beating, kicking him repeatedly while he lay crumpled on the floor of the jail.

Over a year ago the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network (CABN) reported that hospital records confirmed Phalen's account of the beating by sheriff's deputies. The People's Law Office currently is pursuing a civil case on Phalen's behalf.

Sheriff's Dept. Documents Confirm Gay-Bashing by Guards
Internal sheriff's department documents recently obtained by CABN show that six witnesses located by a sheriff's department investigator independently confirmed the essentials of Phalen's story. The documents show that the department's command channel review found three sheriffs deputies -- Emiliano R. Valencia (#4545), Joseph M. Passarella (#4879), and Michael J. Harrington (#4996) -- guilty of beating Phalen and then lying about it to the Sheriff's Dept. investigator, Thomas L. Swaine.

Despite finding Valencia, Passarella and Harrington guilty of physical brutality and lying about it, Swaine recommended that rather being fired, that each of them get only 20 day suspensions without pay. Swaine's superiors approved his recommendation, but the three guards are now appealing the decision...for being too severe.

CABN finds it outrageous that the Sheriff's Department would allow known batterers to stay in positions where they can continue to use their authority to attack others in the future. Does the County need more lawsuits concerning the conduct of Valencia, Passarella and Harrington before it fires these brutal officers? When the Sheriff's Department's own internal investigation finds officers guilty of brutality, why is it that Cook County States Attorney Dick Devine once again won't filing criminal charges against law enforcement officers who bash?

CABN urges all who oppose gay bashing to join us at the next meeting of the Cook County Merit Board, the body ultimately charged with disciplining brutal and crooked deputies. We will demand that they fire these deputies which their own investigators have found guilty of brutality. We also demand that the attackers be criminally prosecuted by Cook County States Attorney Dick Devine, the way that a person in any other occupation would be.

Protest at the Merit Board meeting!
Meet at 8:45 a.m. sharp, Thursday, April 26
in the lobby of 69 W. Washington Street, Chicago

We will then go to Conference Room B in the basement of the building to speak out at the Board meeting.

For more information call 773.878.4781 or 773.878.3697.



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