Gavel, Judge

El Paso County commissioners recently approved a $750,000 payment to Rodney Eaves, 41, in response to his claim of injuries while housed in the jail. Eaves said he was severely beaten by deputies in the jail and was denied proper medical treatment for nine days, Fox21News reported.

His handwritten claim said the incident occurred on April 13, 2015, and was caught on video. He says he was “slammed on my face and repeatedly struck in the head and neck” by two deputies, and lost his hearing in one ear among other injuries. Two other deputies watched but didn’t intervene. Then, sheriff’s personnel tried to cover up the assault, the claim says.

The county justified the payment, saying via a spokesperson, “After considering numerous factors, including recent jury verdicts from the District of Colorado in Denver awarding plaintiffs millions of dollars in similar lawsuits, input from the county insurance provider, and its significant contribution to the total settlement payout, it was determined the settlement was in the best interests of the County and taxpayer.”

Taxpayers will pay $237,044, while the county’s insurance provider will fund $512,956. It’s one of the largest settlements ever paid by the county.

“The incident in question occurred at the very beginning of Sheriff Bill Elder’s term, which means all of the use of force policies in place were formulated by the previous Sheriff. Sheriff Elder has since amended those policies.” The April 2015 assault occurred more than three months into Elder’s first term. He was first elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2018.


Senior Reporter

Pam Zubeck is a graduate from Emporia State University. She worked at the Tulsa Tribune before coming to Colorado Springs, where she spent 16 years at the Gazette and in 2009 joined Colorado Publishing House.

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