A former Cook County Sheriff’s correctional officer was sentenced to a year of probation Thursday for kicking a suicidal inmate and ordering two other detainees to beat him up.
Delphia Sawyer had pleaded guilty to official misconduct and testified for prosecutors last month during a bench trial for her colleague at Cook County Jail.
Sawyer fought back tears as she described how she and Pamela Bruce attacked the then 18-year-old on Feb. 9, 2012.
She said Bruce taunted the suicidal inmate by saying, “You want to hurt yourself? I got something for you.”
Sawyer said an inmate asked her if she wanted him to “take care” of the victim after he was singled out as the culprit who cut off the lights in Tier 2C of the maximum security Division 10.
But Sawyer said, “No.”
Sawyer said she went on to order the victim out of the shower and into his cell.
The teen called her a “bitch” but still obeyed orders and got behind the bars and was “locked up,” Sawyer said.
However, within seconds, Sawyer said she and Bruce let two inmates inside and allowed them to rough up the teen.
Instead of helping him, the two jail guards joined in and took a whack at him, Sawyer testified before Judge James Linn.
“This is what happens when you f— with us,” Sawyer said she gloated as other inmates looked on.
Sawyer admitted that she later lied in an incident report, writing that the teen injured himself trying to kill himself by banging his head against the wall.
The victim had been suicidal before and had a bed sheet around his neck when the group encountered him, so Sawyer said she stuck with her story before a grand jury.
“I was wrong. I was scared. I wanted to cover it up,” Sawyer said, crying.
“I knew if I changed my story, I would be in trouble. I knew in my heart what had happened. I just wanted it all to go away. I made a bad decision.”
Linn acquitted Bruce on some charges but found her guilty on several counts of perjury, official misconduct, mob action, obstruction of justice and battery.
Bruce, 31, was sentenced to two years’ probation on Tuesday.
Both Bruce and Sawyer, 32, have since resigned from the Cook County Sheriff’s Department.