Cook County Sheriff Matt Cooke is under investigation by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office for allegedly violating a state law that bars employees from engaging in violence against inmates.
A report obtained by NBC News said deputies in the jail’s holding center for mentally ill inmates, which is in the north suburbs, allegedly beat an inmate who refused to stop crying, leaving him with a concussion.
The inmate was taken to a hospital and treated for head trauma.
Deputy Brian Lewis, who worked in the center, is facing charges including felony battery and assault.
Cooke was not immediately available for comment on Thursday.
The sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The report says Lewis’ supervisor at the time, a corrections officer, was aware of the inmate’s injuries and “did not intervene” in the incident.
It also said that Lewis allegedly punched the inmate while he was still crying.
It said that after the beating, Lewis told the inmate, “I’ll be damned, I’ll be punished for this.”
Cooke also faces criminal charges for failing to report a disturbance in a detention facility, which could be a misdemeanor.
A sheriff’s report obtained Thursday said Cooke had “no knowledge” of the assault.
A spokesman for the sheriff’s department told the Chicago Tribune that Cooke “is not currently on administrative leave, as this is an ongoing investigation.”
The report was obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, which reported Thursday that Cooch was also charged in May for allegedly punching a female inmate.