Suit claims Cook County detainees monitored in toilet areas

Suit claims Cook County detainees monitored in toilet areas

CHICAGO (AP) — A new federal lawsuit accuses the Cook County Sheriff's Office of violating the rights of detainees by monitoring them through video cameras while they use toilets in courthouse holding cells.

The proposed class-action lawsuit filed in Chicago on Wednesday argues the alleged monitoring while detainees await bond hearings violates protections against unconstitutional searches and invasions of privacy. It names Sheriff Tom Dart and Cook County as defendants.

The suit alleges both male and female officers monitor male and female detainees in the bathroom areas of holding cells using hidden cameras.

The Chicago Tribune cites Dart's chief policy officer, Cara Smith, as "vehemently" denying hidden or secret cameras monitor bathroom areas. She said in an email statement there are fixed cameras that help ensure the safety of both detainees and staff.

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