‘Scared All The Time’: Former Daggett Inmates Describe Abuse at The Hands of Jail Officers

Dustin Porter said he has recurring nightmares of the attack dog that lunged at him in a slippery jail hallway: “I’ll wake up right before he bites me.”

Josh Olsen said he was told to wear long-sleeved shirts to hide the marks made on his arm by the jolts of a stun gun.

Josh Asay recalled the terror of having a semiautomatic handgun pointed at his face: “We were pretty much scared all the time. The people who were watching over us were hurting us.”

In their first public interviews since Utah state investigators abruptly closed the 80-bed Daggett County jail in February, several former inmates detailed what they described as painful “initiation” rituals in which a guard at the jail — sometimes with other officers as witnesses — repeatedly stunned them with a Taser weapon and subjected them to terrifying K-9 police dog “training” exercises.

The inmates said that if they balked at his demands, Deputy Joshua Cox, 27, ridiculed them as “pussies” and “bitches” and threatened to “fire” them from their coveted outside-prison work. On some occasions, when they were working away from the jail cameras, inmates said Cox menaced them with his service handgun.

Cox’s attorney declined an interview request on behalf of his client.

After investigators found what Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes described as “unbelievably inhumane” criminal misconduct at the jail, former Daggett County Sheriff Jerry Jorgensen, 64, and three ex-deputies — Benjamin Lail, 32, Rodrigo Toledo, 42, and Cox — have all entered guilty pleas to state charges.

Jorgensen and Toledo admitted to official misconduct. Lail pleaded guilty to “reckless endangerment” for firing a Taser at the feet of a female employee in the jail control room.

Another deputy, Logan James Walker, 27, is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on an official misconduct charge later this month.

Cox, the main culprit, pleaded guilty to three felonies, including two counts of aggravated assault, and a class A misdemeanor for stealing a Taser from the Smithfield Police Department, where he once worked as a reserve officer.

Daggett County employees accused of mistreating jail inmates will have their criminal cases moved to another county
Two Daggett County jail guards fired, jail commander resigns as authorities investigate misconduct allegations
Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune Deputy Joshua Cox appears in Third District Court in Park City Monday July 17 before Judge Kent Holmberg. He along with former Daggett County Sheriff Jerry Jorgensen and former jail commander Lt. Benjamin Lail are up on charges connected to the abuse of jail inmates at the Daggett County jail.

Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune Deputy Joshua Cox appears in Third District Court in Park City Monday July 17 before Judge Kent Holmberg. He along with former Daggett County Sheriff Jerry Jorgensen and former jail commander Lt. Benjamin Lail are up on charges connected to the abuse of jail inmates at the Daggett County jail.

“I think he enjoys watching other people suffer. … This is what he likes doing.”

For the full story visit: http://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2017/11/05/former-daggett-jail-inmates-describe-torture-and-abuse-by-officer/

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5631 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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