SALT LAKE CITY — The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Daggett County on behalf of two former inmates who were abused while incarcerated at the county jail.

In 2017, the Daggett County Jail was shut down after a Department of Corrections investigation uncovered abuse of inmates that dated back years and included officers illegally using their Tasers on inmates and forcing inmates to act as test dummies to train uncertified police dogs.

Former Daggett County Sheriff Jerry Jorgensen, former Daggett County Sheriff’s Lt. Benjamin Lail, of Manila, and former sheriff’s deputies Joshua Cox, of Manila, Rodrigo Toledo and Logan Walker were all charged and convicted in various plea deals.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes called it “unbelievably inhumane conduct and a reprehensible miscarriage of justice.”

On Wednesday, former inmates Dustin Law Porter and Steven Drollette filed a lawsuit against Daggett County, the former sheriff, three of the former deputies, the Corrections Department, and others.

The former inmates say they “lived in fear for their lives, health, safety and welfare because of the ongoing abuse they and other prisoners experienced,” according to the lawsuit.

“The repeated and systemic abuse plaintiffs suffered caused them long-term mental and physical harm, that continues today and will continue in the future. These attacks plaintiffs endured were part of a larger culture of abuse that had long been fostered at the Jail by the County and its officials and employees,” the lawsuit states.

Drollette said he witnessed Cox wrestling other inmates, and on some occasions “heard deputy Cox radio to officers in the jail’s control room to turn off the camera in the areas where he was engaged in that behavior,” the lawsuit states.

Other times with the jail work crew, Drollette said he witnessed Cox “calling prisoners’ names, telling them it was their turn for him …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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