What a Way to Run a Jail

     ST. LOUIS (CN) – Another former inmate of the city’s workhouse has sued the St. Louis Police Department, claiming he was jailed in a case of mistaken identity – and that the city should have known it, as the real guy was in jail too.
     In his federal complaint, Travis Jones claims he was booked under the name Mark Crumble, for an alleged outstanding warrant, and was jailed in the city’s workhouse from early November 2009 to late January 2010.
     “Despite repeated requests by plaintiff, neither the police department, sheriff’s department, nor Division of Corrections made any attempt to verify plaintiff’s identity as either Jones or Crumble, until ordered to do so by the circuit court for St. Louis City on January 6, 2010,” the complaint states.
     “More than two weeks later, the police department finally ran Jones’ fingerprints, and verified that he was not, in fact, Mark Crumble.
     “Shockingly however, while Jones was confined as Crumble, the real Mark Crumble was also under confinement by Corrections. In fact, at the time of Jones’ arrest, Crumble was already under confinement by Corrections, but the Crumble warrant was still active.”
     Jones claims the St. Louis police department’s failure to correctly identify suspects has led to the wrongful incarceration of at least five people since 2010. In January, Cedric Wright sued the department and its board in Federal Court with similar claims.
     Jones wants the court to order the defendants to reform their suspect-identification process and punitive damages for negligence and deprivation of constitutional rights.
     He is represented by Jason Charpentier, with Growe, Eisen, Karlen of Clayton, Mo.
     Named as defendants are the St. Louis Sheriff’s Department, St. Louis City Division of Corrections, St. Louis Police Department, Mayor Francis Slay and seven other individuals.

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