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Police brutality Waukegan, IL

During Gruber's incarceration, security videos show, deputies
hoisted him by the armpits and carried him, legs dragging, through the
jail. Other images appear to show an officer holding a slumping Gruber
up for his mug shot. No cameras were present in the cells where the
pepper-spraying and take-down maneuver occurred, so investigators had to
rely on witness reports, some of which contained conflicting
statements, according to records. When Gruber was taken to the hospital
almost 24 hours later, jail officials apparently failed to relay to
doctors there that Gruber was complaining of paralysis or might have
suffered a spinal injury, and a back stabilizer was not used when he was
brought in.

Gruber had spent the past month at Schwab
Rehabilitation Hospital in Chicago, said Mark Smolens, an attorney
representing Gruber's family. "It shouldn't have happened," Smolens
said. "He walked into the jail. Then a couple of hours later ... he's
obviously paralyzed — notwithstanding the fact they dragged him around
the jail like a sack of potatoes for almost 24 hours until the following
the day." The paralysis apparently was from the mid-chest down,
affecting Gruber's diaphragm, Smolens said. Gruber could talk when off
the ventilator for short periods of time, but could not swallow and was
on an all-liquid protein diet, Smolens said. Before he was moved to
Schwab, records show, Gruber was in the intensive care unit.
Investigators tried to interview him there on Dec. 10 but "due to
Gruber's condition, he was unable to speak but he could communicate by
pointing at letters on a board," a report states. At that time, Gruber
communicated that an officer had twisted his head and neck in a violent
manner, according to the report. A doctor at Waukegan's Vista Medical
Center East, where Gruber was first taken, said Gruber told her that
while in jail, "the police put his head between his legs like a wheel or
windmill. Gruber continued saying the police drug him around on the
floor and left him to die as a dead noodle," according to an interview
with investigators.

Officers reported Gruber refused to put on
the clothing, so they began forcibly dressing him. One officer forced
Gruber to the ground by pulling his head down with his right hand, and
grabbing his left shoulder with the other in a twisting motion,
according to interviews. They tried to photograph him about midnight,
according to a report, initially deleting a photo from the system
because it showed a correctional officer in the background who appears
to be propping up Gruber. About 8 a.m. officers again attempted to
photograph Gruber but found his condition had deteriorated to the point
that they called for a nurse. Over the course of the day, Gruber
repeatedly told correctional officers he couldn't walk and was
paralyzed, according to records. The nurse rubbed the bottoms of
Gruber's feet, then told an officer, "If he is really paralyzed he will
urinate himself," according to the officer, the nurse was later fired.

24
Hours after his arrival The nurse found that Gruber slurred his words,
his skin was pale, his feet were cold and purple and he could not hold
up his head. She "noticed Gruber turn blue and his eyes started to roll
back." She found a faint pulse and advised others to call 911 for an
ambulance, the report states. Gruber was transported by ambulance to
Vista Medical Center East, where doctors found him to be critically ill
with low blood pressure and a collapsed left lung. Doctors weren't
initially unaware he had suffered an upper spine injury and had been
told he was suffering from alcohol withdrawal, records show.They later
determined he had a broken neck and performed two surgeries.The
neurological surgeon, Dr. Robert Erickson, said the twisting maneuver
likely caused Gruber's injury, according to an interview with
investigators. He described this type of injury as "being seen in severe
car crashes and sometimes found in football injuries, where a person is
tackled by two or three players and has his head, neck and body twisted
in several different directions."

Christen Bishop, chief of
special investigations for the state's attorney's office, said before
Gruber's death that she had closed the case.

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Added: Nov-17-2013 Occurred On: Oct-31-2011
By: Coffeemaker
In:
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Tags: Police, Brutality, Waukegan, IL, Eugene, Gruber
Location: Waukegan, Illinois, United States (load item map)
Views: 3060 | Comments: 38 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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