A Cook County court judge was removed from the bench after she was seen on video forcing a child in a holding cell behind her courtroom.

Sources told WGN Investigates Jackie Portman-Brown had briefly locked-up the child, who is believed to be a relative, after lecturing her about poor behavior.

The incident occurred on Feb. 19 at the criminal courthouse where Portman-Brown hears adult felony cases.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, WGN Investigates obtained video of the incident which has resulted in the judge being re-assigned to administrative duty.

Security cameras show the child entering Portman-Brown’s courtroom with an unidentified woman. A short time later, cameras covering the holding cell behind the courtroom appear to show the judge and the woman dragging the child out of her courtroom, through a sheriff’s work area, and into a holding cell.

The sheriff’s office digitally covered the child’s face in the video to protect her identity. WGN Investigates was told the child appeared to be between 6 and 8 years old.

Sources said Portman-Brown originally ordered the courtroom deputies to lock the girl up. When they initially refused, Portman-Brown, still wearing her judicial robe, did it herself.

The video shows Portman-Brown bringing the girl into the holding cell followed by a deputy sheriff who locked the cell door. The deputy is seen repeatedly talking to the child while she was locked-up. The unidentified woman also checked on her.

The child is believed to have been locked-up for less than 10 minutes but was described as being “emotional” during the ordeal. Shortly after the episode, Portman-Brown is seen on video leaving for the day with the child and the unidentified woman who brought her. They used a back door reserved for court staff.

It was a full week after the incident occurred before the chief judge learned of it and took action. “Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans [reassigned] judge Jackie Marie Portman-Brown to administrative duty, pending a meeting of the executive committee of the Circuit Court of Cook County on March 4,” said court spokesman Pat Milhizer.

The two deputies, who sources say only reluctantly followed the judge’s orders are also facing scrutiny.

“The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an internal investigation into the incident to determine whether all policies and procedures were followed by the deputies,” said sheriff’s spokesman Matt Walberg. “Both deputies have been de-deputized and assigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation.”

Police in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge say they’ve arrested suspected burglars after a man identifying himself as a soldier in Iraq called them to say he’d just seen on the smartphone he’d hooked up to doorbell camera two men leave his garage with his power tools.

Police say they sent officers to the area shortly after the early Friday call and spotted two men loaded down with power tools.

Soldier Richard Wharton was viewing his doorbell camera on his smartphone when he noticed two people leave his garage with some of his power tools.

Andres Gutierrez and Brandon Shaw were arrested at around 2.30am on Friday and taken into custody.

‘He saw it and watched it and communicated great with us and called us right away,’ Tom Gadomski with Park Ridge police said.

A mother of three Emily C. Sparks, 29, of O’Fallon, Illinois is being held in the St. Clair County Jail on three counts of attempted murder, the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s office said.

She has two sons and daughter, ages 3, 5 and 7, who are now being cared for by relatives, O’Fallon police Lt. Nicholas Schmidt said.

Police received a tip that Sparks had planned to kill her children on December and learned that she had purchased a canister of carbon dioxide, Schmidt said.


ALTON, Ill — East St. Louis High School has shut down the cheerleading team for the rest of the season after a fight Saturday. The East St. Louis Sr. High School cheerleading team was performing “dueling routines” against the team from Trinity Catholic High School during the Alton Shootout at Alton High School. Suddenly, the two sides started to fight.

His choices are going to haunt him deeply as he gets older. I don’t know how he will even be able to sleep at night unless he has no soul. This story is sad and tragic on so many levels.

A Chicago rapper has been sentenced to 99 years in prison after paying a hitman to murder his own mom so he could have access to her bank accounts and life insurance. Qaw’mane Wilson AKA “Young QC” was found guilty of the murder-for-hire last year, and yesterday was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars. Yolanda Holmes was shot then stabbed to death by hitman Eugene Spencer after he was ordered by Wilson to “make sure the b*tch is dead.”.

A police officer, Erin Zilka, 35, has been charged with DUI after she slammed into a truck, and her police colleague sitting in the passenger seat was killed.

She was allegedly driving while drunk when the car struck a box truck that had been involved in a separate accident on the I-55 highway in Plainfield, Illinois.

The passenger, Charles Schauer, 33, died The 10-year veteran of the Berwyn Police Department was pronounced dead at the scene.

Zilka, a six-year-veteran Joliet Police Department, was taken to hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries. She was then arrested and charged with driving under the influence.


A dashcam captured the terrifying moment two state troopers, helping an elderly couple change their flat tire, narrowly missed being crushed to death by an out of control box truck.

Authorities say Probationary Trooper Pflaum and his Field Training Officer, Trooper Zimmerman, were assisting Fairfield couple Peggy and Wilbur ‘Bud’ Vaught with a flat tire on November 12 on Interstate 64 at milepost 101 near Wayne City.


An Illinois mother who plead guilty to sexually assaulting two boys was sentenced to prison Wednesday.

Gina M. Colwell, 41, was sentenced to 7 1/2 years behind bars for predatory criminal sexual assault in a case involving a 12-year-old boy and 48 months of sex-offender probation for aggravated criminal sexual abuse in a case involving a 13-year-old boy. She pleaded guilty to both offenses as part of a plea agreement.

Both victims played youth football on a team coached by Colwell’s husband.

A 31-year-old Geneva woman Lindsay P. Anderson, faces prison after admitting to sexually assaulting and abusing two of her former students from Carpentersville Middle School.

Authorities said the former high school coach was a teacher at Carpentersville Middle School in Carpentersville, Illinois when she groomed her teenage victims with gifts and drugs before engaging in sexual relationships with both of them between 2013 and May 2015.

According to prosecutors, Anderson sexually assaulted two male students between July 2013 and May 2015. Anderson knew both victims from when she was employed at Carpentersville Middle School but was not their teacher when the assaults took place, prosecutors said.


CCTV footage from the February 15th mass shooting released Wednesday shows the moment Gary Martin, 45, prepares to ambush law enforcement officials after being told he was being fired from his job of 15 years.

The clip, posted by police, shows four camera angles from Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, Illinois, right after Martin pulled out his gun and began shooting at his industrial valve manufacturer workplace.

A new surveillance video shows Chicago police officers push and drag a student down a set of stairs in February at Marshall High School on the West Side before punching her and shocking her with a stun gun multiple times.

The video, obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, appears to contradict the officers’ statements that the student initiated the violent encounter after the incident to justify their use of force — again raising questions of the oversight, training and stationing of police officers in Chicago Public Schools.