Lawsuit Claims Cook County IL Deputies Took Nude Photos of Dead DUI Crash Victim
01/05/2011 // West Palm Beach, FL, US // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan
Oak Forest, IL—The family of a 20-year-old woman who was killed in an alleged DUI car crash on New Year’s Eve of 2009 filed a lawsuit against the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, claiming responding officers undressed the victim at the scene and proceeded to take nude photos of her. While the sheriff’s department has denied the allegations, the plaintiffs are apparently seeking more than $200,000 for “severe and extreme distress,” according to a Jan. 5, 2011 Huffington Post report.
Jessica Mejia suffered fatal injuries when her boyfriend, Nick Sord crashed the car she was riding in. Sord’s blood alcohol content was apparently three times the legal limit at the time of the deadly suburban Oak Forest wreck.
Four members of the Mejia family filed a lawsuit last Thursday, alleging some Cook County police officers took Jessica Mejia’s clothes off and snapped photographs of her dead body in an area that could be seen easily by passing motorists. The lawsuit, which claims foul play on the part of multiple officers, stated there was no medical validation for the nude photos.
According to Steve Patterson of the Cook County Sherriff’s Department, “From the moment our officers arrived upon the scene of this horrific crash one year ago, we have worked hard to provide justice to the family of the victim. While we’ve remained in contact with them, we’ve never before heard of the bizarre scenario this lawsuit describes.”
It was not clear why it took the Mejia family so long to file a complaint or whether they had any hard evidence, such as the alleged photos taken at the scene, to prove their accusations.
“There were multiple independent witnesses on the scene that night and crime scene photographs taken which have prevented the scenario described from happening. We’re sorry for the family’s loss,” Patterson added.
Sord is scheduled to appear in court on January 20. He faces charges of aggravated drunk driving and reckless homicide in connection with the fatal New Year’s Eve wreck.
The case is underway.
Phone: (866) 598-1315
Url: Sandra Quinlan: West Palm Beach Injury News