Pregnant Inmate Says Guards Beat Her
A young pregnant woman said she was beaten by three San Diego County deputies in Las Colinas Jail on Tuesday morning, shortly before Sheriff John Duffy publicly denied that inmates were being “systematically brutalized” by his jail guards.
The woman, 21-year-old Evelyn George, shivered and cried during an interview with The Times on Wednesday night in the women’s jail. She appeared shaken and frightened, with a small lump over her left eye and a bald spot on her head. She said after an argument, the female deputies yanked out her hair, kicked her in the back of the neck and slammed her face down on the floor.
Only Given Aspirin
She said she is three months pregnant but fears she is losing her baby because of continuous vaginal bleeding during the last week. She said the bleeding began after she was involved in a fight with another inmate, increased during the following six nights of sleeping on the jail floor, and was exacerbated by the assault by deputies on Tuesday.
She said she does not believe that having jail nurses simply give her aspirin was sufficient or proper medical care to treat her condition.
“Now I’m in isolation,” she said. “I can’t have a roommate and that scares me. The deputies, they come around and bang on the door and yell at me and it scares me because I don’t know what they’ll do to me next.”
George said she was beaten by deputies about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday in a dispute over a second mattress she had obtained for comfort in sleeping on the floor. Two hours later, Duffy held his first press conference to answer allegations about jail beatings. Duffy could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Officials in the Sheriff’s Department said Thursday morning that they were unaware of the alleged beating, the latest in a series of alleged assaults against inmates by deputies in the six county jails.
Thursday afternoon, sheriff’s officials said a preliminary internal affairs investigation had found no substance to her allegations.
“However, if she wishes to file a complaint or should a complaint be filed for her, then our internal affairs investigators will handle it,” said sheriff’s spokesman Liz Foster.
Attorney Warren Beck said he has been contacted by George’s family and is reviewing the case to determine whether to file a formal sheriff’s complaint about the alleged assault in the jail, where George is being held under $5,000 bond.
She has been charged with one count of furnishing or selling rock cocaine and one count of failure to appear in court after being released on her own recognizance. She said she has been in the women’s jail for two months, awaiting her trial on July 1.
According to court records, George is a single parent who is raising three children on welfare.
George’s allegations prompted an immediate reaction from several outside agencies. Two agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is probing accusations of widespread abuse in the jails, interviewed her Wednesday afternoon.
The legal director of the local American Civil Liberties Union, which has filed suit over crowded conditions in the jails and is gathering evidence of alleged beatings and inadequate medical care, met with her on Wednesday night in the jail.
“We’re very concerned about her medical condition and the possibility that she has not gotten adequate medical care,” said Betty Wheeler of the ACLU.
“We are concerned not only about the allegations that excessive force was used against her by deputies, but also about the intra-inmate violence that may have precipitated a miscarriage,” Wheeler said. “The kind of overcrowding that is present at Las Colinas I think enhances and exacerbates intra-inmate violence, as well as tensions between inmates and deputies.”