sheriff's office

El Paso County Sheriff's Office is being accused of brutality in a notice of claim.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) has reported a male inmate died by suicide March 29 at approximately 5:54 p.m. According to a news release, “A male inmate was found in his cell attempting suicide by hanging. When additional deputies responded to the ward, the inmate was not breathing and had no pulse.

The deputies initiated Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and used the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) with the assistance of responding medical staff. Despite lifesaving efforts, the male was pronounced deceased. The identity of the deceased male will not be released until the Coroner’s Office makes positive identification and the next of kin is notified.”

This incident marks the fifth suicide at the county jail since June 2019. The June suicide was the first reported at the correctional facility since 2009. 

EPSO has also had issues with deputies at the jail completing required inmate checks. On Dec. 11, 2020, the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board revoked former EPSO Deputy Russell Smith’s POST certification after an investigation revealed he did not complete required checks. 

The EPSO news release says, “This is an ongoing investigation and additional information will be released when it becomes available.”


News Reporter

Heidi Beedle is a former soldier, educator, activist, and animal welfare worker. She received a Bachelor’s in English from UCCS. She has worked as a freelance writer covering LGBTQ issues, nuclear disasters, cattle mutilations, and social movements.