One of the three suspects arrested in connection with a shootout in Sacramento’s downtown district earlier this month settled with Sacramento County over an alleged jailhouse assault, according to court records.
In 2018, Smiley Martin claimed a correctional officer at the Sacramento County Jail encouraged rival gang members to attack him by allowing them to interact with him. That interaction allowed gang members to surround and attack him, Martin claimed.
“I had hot water thrown on me, and [experienced] second-degree burns,” Martin, now 27, wrote in a complaint, according to a copy that was obtained by CBS13 Sacramento.
Martin, who represented himself in the lawsuit, claimed jail officials did not provide him adequate medical attention immediately after he was attacked and that the guard in question threatened him if he filed a grievance.
“No matter how reprehensible that the public may feel of someone, we as a society in America don’t therefore torture, we don’t violate their rights,” Sacramento criminal defense attorney Mark Reichel said in an interview with CBS13 on Wednesday.
While common, lawsuits against jail officials are tough to win, though in this case, Smiley settled with the county for $7,500.
“This is a real problem, and if you take one-tenth of that amount of money that we pay out to rectify the problem, to prevent it from happening again, we’d be much better off,” Reichel said.