PUYALLUP, Wash. -- KING 5 News has learned that nearly two dozen more women have come forward with complaints about videotaping at the Puyallup city jail.
Most of the women were DUI suspects who say they were forced to strip naked in a holding cell to change into jail clothes. They didn’t know they were being recorded on a monitor that could be seen by mostly male jailers.
“We’ve got dozens of other people calling who had similar experiences in Puyallup. We’re sorting through them right now,” said Seattle Attorney James Egan.
In August, Egan’s law firm and the The Connelly Law Offices in Tacoma
who say their privacy was invaded by the videotaping at the jail.
Now others have come forward, like a King County woman, who asked that she not be identified. She was arrested for suspected drunk driving in April.
“I was told I needed to take off all my garments and change into the uniform,” said the woman.
She says she refused the order because four male guards and one male inmate were nearby. She demanded the presence of a female officer.
“Basically I was harassed for not doing it and put back in the holding cell and made to stay there for about 12 hours,” the woman said.
“They’re telling us they didn’t know they were being videotaped. They didn’t consent to being on camera. They feel violated by finding out this information,” said plaintiff’s attorney Lincoln Beauregard.
The City of Puyallup said on the day that the lawsuit was filed that such filming in jails was a common industry standard and that they would not change the practice.
“The jail videos we’ve watched so far don’t show any inappropriate activity. In fact, the corrections officers are acting very professionally,” said Puyallup City Attorney Kevin Yamamoto.
Four jail experts told KING 5 in August that videotaping inmates in their most private moments is highly unusual and improper.