A former Cook County Sheriff’s correctional officer was sentenced to two years of probation Tuesday for ordering two inmates to beat up another detainee and hitting the teenage victim with her police radio.
Pamela Bruce, 31, made no comment following the brief hearing before Judge James Linn, but her lawyer called her sentence “fair.”
The attorney, Frank Davion Edwards, added that his client’s actions on Feb. 9, 2012, were an “aberration.”
During Bruce’s trial last month, Linn acknowledged that Bruce and her partner, Delphia Sawyer, had high-pressure jobs and said he didn’t think they woke up that day planning to violently lash out at the victim.
But the judge also noted that that the two women lost their tempers and spiraled out of control at Cook County Jail.
Sawyer, 32, was the prosecution’s star witness who testified against her former good friend.
Sawyer admitted that she also kicked the victim that evening, causing trauma to his forehead and right eye.
Bruce taunted the suicidal inmate by saying, “You want to hurt yourself? I got something for you,” Sawyer said.
Sawyer said an inmate asked her if she wanted him to “take care” of the then 18-year-old 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.
“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 through tears.
“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 he found her guilty on several counts of perjury, official misconduct, mob action, obstruction of justice and battery.
Bruce, a mother of two, was a correctional officer for eight years before her arrest.
Sawyer has pleaded guilty to one count of official misconduct and is awaiting sentencing.
Both Bruce and Sawyer have since resigned, according to Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Sophia Ansari.