- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A man who said he was beaten in the Jackson County Jail alleges in a new court filing that corrections officials were slow to tell hospital staff how the man suffered broken ribs, three cracked vertebrae, a collapsed lung, cuts and bruises.

Larry D. Wright, an attorney for James J. Ramirez, is seeking a wide range of documents and records while preparing to file a possible lawsuit against the county. Wright’s new court filing responding to the county’s attempt to have the records closed provides the most detail so far on the violent incident at the Jackson County Detention Center that prompted a federal investigation of the alleged use of excessive force by county jail guards, The Kansas City Star (https://bit.ly/1WiMvI2 ) reports.

The court filing said the jail guards who brought Ramirez to the Truman Medical Center emergency room in July initially said it was for treatment of the 35-year-old Kansas City man’s “altered mental status.” Only after hospital personnel learned the extent of his physical injuries did the Jackson County corrections officers acknowledged the beating that caused them, according to the filing. The document also said that the guards justified the rough treatment by implying that Ramirez deserved it.

The county counselor’s office declined to turn over records that Wright is seeking, citing the FBI probe. Mark Siettmann, a Jackson County spokesman, didn’t immediately return phone or email messages from The Associated Press seeking comment about Wright’s legal response to the denial.

Ramirez was hurt during his jail stay for allegedly violating probation on a drunken driving conviction. His mother, Robin Jones, told The Star last week that her son suffered his injuries while he lay face down, with his arms handcuffed behind his back. At least one guard kneed him repeatedly with such force, she said, that his broken ribs punctured a lung.

In arguing that he is entitled to see the documents, Wright described the beating by guards, his client’s lack of adequate medical treatment and what he saw as an attempt by jail guards to excuse their behavior with a concocted story.

“It was not until he was released from custody that Ramirez was able to see medical treatment to remove a large volume of blood from his lung along with continued treatment of other injuries suffered at the hands of JCDC guards,” Wright wrote.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, https://www.kcstar.com

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