Farad Polk decided to visit his son who was serving time at the Cook County Jail in Chicago. However, a worker at the Cook County Jail gave Polk the wrong directions and he became a prisoner without being charged or convicted a crime.
According to Chicago Tribune, Polk entered the visiting area at the jail and was told to go down a hall and turn right. Once he passed through a door, it closed behind him and locked. For the next 32 hours, Polk was locked inside of a 8-foot-by-8 foot jail cell without food, water, or a toilet. It was a room used only for visitors of super-maximum security prisoners.
Due to it being the weekend, the room was not being used and guards could not hear his screams for help.
Polk was eventually able to get the attention of jail staffers after he broke a sprinkler head. He was eventually rescued by the Chicago Fire Department.
The incident serves as a reminder of the issues within Cook County. For decades, Cook County has been marred by corruption from correctional officers all the way up to the judges. Months after Polk was locked inside of the jail in July 2014, a Cook County sheriff, Stanley Kogut, was charged with robbing drug dealers. Kogut later committed suicide inside of the jail by hanging himself with his bed sheet. Also, Chicago police created a hidden jail outside of the Cook County Jail where they would abuse citizens without processing them or presenting their rights.
Polk decided to sue the Cook County Jail for causing “emotional distress.” He said that he believed that he would die in the jail.
Polk was eventually awarded a $600,000 settlement.