Honoring Alteriq Pleasant
We are devastated to learn of the death of Alteriq Pleasant, 27, who died on August 2nd while in custody at Cook County Jail. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that according to the sheriff’s office, Alteriq died just a few weeks after experiencing a medical emergency. Their article claims that foul play does not seem to be involved and that the autopsy to determine the cause of his death was inconclusive.
Alteriq’s family is speaking out about the abuse he suffered at the hands of law enforcement leading up to his death. At a press conference in front of Cook County Jail on August 10th, Alteriq’s mother Vicki Willis cried, “I didn’t even know my son was dead. He had marks on his neck, his wrists were broken. You can tell that they burned my baby. He did not deserve this.” The charge used to cage Alteriq, “aggravated battery to a police officer,” is often levied to criminalize victims of police brutality and cover up instances of state sanctioned violence. Willis and other activists are calling for a civil rights investigation into his death.
Alteriq’s vicious death illustrates the violence of the criminal punishment system that actively works to kill, contain, and control our communities. This system has robbed us of yet another precious person.
Alteriq was clearly beloved by his family and community, and will be truly missed.
CCBF honors Alteriq’s life and our hearts are with his family and loved ones as they cry out for justice. The justice Alteriq deserved cannot be delivered by the carceral system that killed him; we remain committed to freeing people from this violent system and working towards a world where it no longer exists.