PHOENIX (CN) – A disabled woman says Sheriff Joe Arpaio locked her in a jail cell with eight to 10 men for 6 hours and denied her medicines, subjecting her to “hours of fear, humiliation, intimidation, and stress.” Fatima Hunter sued Maricopa County, its Board of Supervisors, the Sheriff’s Office and Arpaio, the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America,” in Maricopa County Court.
Hunter claims Arpaio’s deputies refused her access to food or medication while she was locked up in the Estrella Jail on Sept. 3, 2009, while she was suffering from low blood sugar and high blood pressure.
Hunter, who was charged on Aug. 26, 2009 with illegal control of an enterprise, money laundering and a marijuana violation, says she was subjected to humiliation and intimidation at the jail.
She claims her male cellmates “were only shackled at the ankles and were constantly walking around gesticulating and making heinous remarks to Hunter … which caused Hunter to be in fear of being assaulted by the male inmates.”
The toilet in the cell was frequently used by male inmates and offered no privacy for Hunter, who needed to use to toilet while she was waiting to be seen for a pretrial conference, she says.
She says she “was too intimidated, embarrassed, humiliated and/or mortified to use to toilet, which would have been in full view of the male inmates and which exacerbated her feeling of discomfort and apprehension.”
Hunter wears an ankle brace on her left leg and uses a cane or wheelchair to walk.
The 9th Circuit this week ordered Arpaio to stop violating detainees’ constitutional rights by, among other things, cramming them into overcrowded, “dangerously” hot jails, denying them medicine and feeding them “overripe, moldy, and generally inedible” food.
Hunter seeks punitive damages for negligence and civil rights violations.
She is represented by Thomas McCarville of Litchfield Park.