Former Jackson County inmate files lawsuit, claiming unsanitary detention center conditions harmed him

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An Independence man is suing Jackson County in federal court, claiming that while he was an inmate in the Jackson County Detention Center, he was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

Just a few days after a federal indictment charged jail guards with accepting bribes to smuggle contraband into the county's detention center, an Independence man now claims he was locked in a cell with human waste, raw sewage, feces and urine for nearly a month.

"Just because somebody has been charged with crime doesn't mean we strip away all human rights and human dignity. That`s really what this case is about: protecting the basic human rights of anyone charged with a crime," attorney Casey Symonds said.

Symonds says his client's pleas to have conditions corrected went unanswered, and though he offered to clean up the overflowing, malfunctioning toilet himself, he was offered no supplies to so except a mop and a bucket.

"Unfortunately based on what I understand the conditions aren`t getting better, in fact they are getting worse," Symonds said.

Symonds says in our system of justice, even those charged with a crime are entitled to have their basic human needs and dignity met and that's not happening in Jackson County.