Farad Polk, who was accidentally trapped in a Chicago jail for over 30 hours in 2014, has received $600,000 in a settlement with the Cook County Sheriffs Office. Polk said he was scared for his life and sued the jail for emotional trauma.
Like any supportive parent, Polk was only trying to visit his son. A standard jail visit started to take a hard left turn when he was directed to a part of the jail he was not familiar with. Before he knew it, he was guided down a hallway to a room he thought was a visiting area, but was, in fact, an area of the jail for visiting the “highest classification” maximum security prisoners. This part of the jail is not used on the weekends and had no guards monitoring it, so Polk saw himself spend 32 hours in an 8-foot-by-8-foot room with no access to food or water.
At first, Polk thought this was just an honest mistake and felt any minute now a guard would come to get him. But those minutes kept ticking and began to question if he would ever get out, saying “I’m sitting there waiting for five minutes and say, ‘This ain’t right,’ So as I turned around to buzz out, there was nothing to buzz out. It’s just a room.”
With no toilet in the room, Polk had to result using the floor as a urinal and slept on the concrete. Polk, understandably, began to believe this would be his final resting place. In order to get out of his predicament, Polk pulled a MacGyver and broke a sprinkler to alert the Chicago Fire Department. Cook County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said they had apologized for the situation and that it has never happened in the past:
“As we said at the time of this very unfortunate incident, we are so very grateful Mr. Polk was found safely. We are pleased that this matter has been resolved.”
Polk had sued the sheriff’s department for emotional trauma and was awarded $600,000 for his troubles. He has yet to visit his son since the incident.