Mom of Cook County detainee who died in custody speaks out: 'they burned my baby'

Following the death of a Cook County detainee, community activists are calling for a civil rights investigation.

Alteriq Pleasant, 27, died earlier this month just weeks after he experienced a medical emergency while in custody.

A statement from the sheriff's office says foul play does not appear to be a factor in the death.


"On Tuesday, August 2, Alteriq Pleasant died at Mt. Sinai Hospital where he had been transferred for treatment after experiencing a medical emergency on July 21 at the Cook County Jail. Correctional staff and Cermak Health Services medical staff immediately responded and medical staff began life saving measures, and he was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital for further care. The Sheriff’s Office was notified Pleasant had died August 2 at the hospital," the sheriff's office said in the statement. "Foul play does not appear to be factor in Pleasant’s death, but there is an ongoing death investigation by the Sheriff’s Office."

Pleasant's family, however, disagrees.

"I didn’t even know my son was dead," said Vicki Willis, the mother of Pleasant. "He had marks on his neck, his wrists were broken. You could tell they burned my baby. He did not deserve this."

The Cook County medical examiner's office said autopsy results are still pending.

Pleasant was arrested on July 19 on multiple warrants and was ordered held without bail the next day for aggravated battery to a police officer, according to the sheriff's office.

"Pleasant, 27, was ordered to Cook County Jail custody on July 20 for multiple warrants, including a no-bond warrant for aggravated battery to a peace officer. He was arrested by Chicago Police on July 19," the statement said.