For clarification purposes, this is El Paso County in Colorado, not Texas. El Paso Sheriff’s Deputies engaged in a fight club in which they competed against each other to see who had the most uses of force against inmates in the El Paso County jail. The fight club was discovered when a picture of Deputy Sandra Rincon surfaced. The picture shows Rincon with a tiara, a plate that has princess written on it and a cake with the number 50 on it. Though there is a bag saying happy birthday it was not Rincon’s birthday. The 50 celebrated the 50th time she had used force on an inmate.
The Sheriff in El Paso County is Republican, Bill Elder. However comments on the incident were made by Undersheriff Joe Breister. Breister down played the abuses saying that no one used force when it was not necessary. That claim is proven false by the numbers. There were 261 reported uses of force in 2011. That number of uses of force rises to almost 2,400 in 2017. The increase corresponds to the creation of the fight club. Aside from the statistical data, common sense would tell you that when you have a competition to see who had the most use of force incidents that the use of force would increase.
The officers, who are violating the civil rights of prisoners, will hurt the County of El Paso. They already have. In the past 5 years El Paso County has had to pay out tax payer dollars to settle use of force lawsuits against the Sheriff’s Office. The officers involved in this abuse were barely given a slap on the wrist. The claim was made was that they just made a “bad judgment”.
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