Jury sides with jailers in excessive force case

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A jury has cleared four Woodbury County jailers of a charge that they used excessive force after an inmate refused to change into jail-issued clothing.

The Sioux City Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1cFUQfR ) the verdict Thursday was surprising because jurors had earlier sent a note to U.S. District Judge Mark W. Bennett, asking about the upper limit of monetary judgments.

After the jury sided with the jailers, Bennett exclaimed, “Wow, what a surprise.”

Shannon Peters had claimed officers Jonathon Hatfield, Michelle Risdal, Lee Blanchard and Carlos Lucero used excessive force in retaliation for her refusal to remove her clothing and change into a jail jumpsuit. That prompted officers to forcefully remove her clothes.

Peters claims officers slammed her head against a concrete bunk but the jailers say they used proper force.

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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