The brother of a Colorado man beaten to death by deputies is suing the 2 deputies and a medical technician who ignored signs that the victim was dying of a head injury from the assault.
According to the lawsuit, deputies Christian Crain and Nicholas Cardinal used excessive force that killed Joseph Jaramillo after he flipped them off at Pueblo County jail in Colorado. It also accuses medical technician Sherry Baca of negligence for allegedly failing to properly treat Jaramillo, reported The Denver Post.
Rodney Jaramillo, Joseph’s brother, is seeking unspecified monetary damages including a punitive award.
Jaramillo was in the jail on an opioid withdrawal hold when he was killed by deputies in 2016.
On Feb. 23, 2016, Jaramillo was preparing to take a shower when Crain yelled at him to return to his bunk. Jaramillo decided to flip him off and continued undressing. After Crain yelled at him again to return to his bunk, Jaramillo turned off the shower, dressed and began walking back to his bunk, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit alleges, “Defendants Crain and Cardinal … grabbed Mr. Jaramillo aggressively and both took him to the ceramic floor.” The inmate’s head hit the floor and he lost consciousness, the lawsuit said. Crain and Cardinal continued to assault him as he laid on the floor unconscious.
4 hours after the assault, Jaramillo asked for medical care because of severe pain that affected his vision. A medical technician gave him ibuprofen and left.
12 hours later, Jaramillo complained again of severe head pain. Baca did a “generally indifferent” assessment and said he could not put his chin to his chest, an indication of a “medical emergency” related to brain swelling, according to the lawsuit. Rather than try to get him the help he needed, Baca just gave him more ibuprofen.
The next day at 4:45 a.m. Jaramillo began banging on his cell window and screaming for help. Crain and Baca saw him but ignored his pain, then Jaramillo collapsed.
Baca entered the cell 20 minutes later and did a blood sugar test rather than address his actual ongoing complaints. Jaramillo was unconscious and suffering respiratory failure.
Jaramillo was taken to a Denver hospital. His life support was removed and he was pronounced dead on Feb. 29, 2016, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit says that jail employees then started their cover-up of the killing, according to the lawsuit.
Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor issued a statement saying, “Jaramillo’s death was the result of natural causes.”