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Friday, June 13, 2014

Ind. Courts - More on "Woman stripped naked in Floyd jail will sue"

Updating this story from June 9th, Grace Schneider reports today in the Louisville Courier Journal that:

A woman and three men from Southern Indiana are accusing Floyd County Sheriff Darrell Mills and jail officers in a federal class-action suit of violating their constitutional rights by stripping and torturing them after their arrests.

The suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, contends that there are potentially hundreds of other former inmates who have been incarcerated at the jail in New Albany who faced similar treatment. The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages and a permanent injunction.

The suit by the four — Tabitha Gentry, Vincent Minton, Michael Herron and Adam Walker — says that the officers forcibly removed their clothes and left them without clothing for prolonged periods while they did not pose any security threat to warrant the treatment.

The suit also says officers regularly exposed detainees' naked bodies to officers of the opposite sex and withheld clothing while in view of jail employees or through video surveillance. The former inmates' suit asserts they were subjected to "offensive touching" and excessive uses of force during and after their clothing was removed.

The lawyer for the four, Laura Landenwich of Louisville, previously released video obtained from the jail of Gentry, a 32-year-old New Albany woman who was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting law enforcement, all misdemeanors, after a domestic disturbance March 30.

The video from surveillance cameras showed officers — a man and two women — struggling with Gentry as they removed her clothing and leaving her naked or partially covered in a padded cell for five hours. At one point, Gentry had to urinate down a floor drain, the suit says.

According to the 18-page complaint, the three men allege that they faced similar treatment after misdemeanor arrests. Minton, 23, of Nabb, in custody for public intoxication, intimidation and disorderly conduct in February 2013, had refused to respond to questions by officers.

The suit says he was placed in a padded cell where officers removed his clothes after Minton yelled and banged on the door to request a lawyer. Once he was naked, an officer activated a Taser on the man's buttocks, and he was left with a smock for several hours, the suit says.

There is much more, plus video, in today's story, headed "Class action in strip suit claims others harmed." The story also links to the complaint, Gentry, et al v. Floyd County.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 13, 2014 02:18 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts