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Illinois Judge Reassigned Indefinitely After Video Emerges Of Her Locking Up Young Girl In A Courtroom Holding Cell

NBC5 Chicago

Cook County Judge Jackie Portman-Brown was caught on video dragging a child into a holding cell.

She has now been reassigned to administrative duties in the Illinois court.


The video shows Portman-Brown pulling a small child and locking her in a holding cell. As a result, she has been removed from the bench indefinitely.

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The video shows Portman-Brown leading the child into the cell, followed by a female sheriff's deputy. She then sits the child on the bench, shuts the door and locks her in, leaving her alone in the lock-up area for about ten minutes.

The child, aged between six and eight, is reported to be a relative of the judge. The child's face is blacked-out, but was reported to be under extreme distress.

Portman-Brown has now been placed on administrative duty and will perform tasks such as legal research, marriage ceremonies and reviewing petitions. The Executive Committee, chaired by Chief Judge Timothy Evans, met to discuss the incident.

Evans and the the Circuit Court of Cook County released a statement on the matter this past Wednesday.

"The assignment is effective until further notice. In addition, Judge Portman-Brown will receive mentoring."

Sources told NBC5 that the situation occurred as a result of a "scared straight" style attempt—a tactic used to discipline a child who is misbehaving in school.

"The child had no business being at 26th and Cal to begin with, let alone in a courtroom and in a lockup where a judge is taking her into the lockup," Richard Kling, a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Institute of Technology told NBC5 Chicago.

The situation was met with a vocal response on the internet, with many saying that the decision against Portman-Brown was the right one.









The two deputies seen in the video have been de-deputized and also placed on administrative leave.