El Paso County jail

The El Paso County Criminal Justice Center. Photo courtesy El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

A former deputy with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office is facing criminal charges after an incident involving an inmate at the county's jail, authorities said Monday.

Christopher Rogers, 24, was arrested Friday on suspicion of third-degree assault and first-degree official misconduct, according to a news release from the sheriff's office. 

Colorado Springs Police Department investigated the incident between Rogers and an inmate after another deputy intervened and reported Rogers' conduct to his supervisor on May 16, the release stated. Rogers was placed on administrative leave on May 18 and terminated on Monday.

Police issued Rogers a summons for the charges — both of which are misdemeanors, the sheriff's office said.

Rogers started working with the sheriff's office in January 2016 and was assigned to the Floor Security Division of the Detention Bureau. 

Rogers' arrest comes after several high-profile lawsuits from relatives of inmates who claimed deputies used excessive force at the jail.

In August 2019, a man sued the Sheriff's Office and Colorado Springs, alleging that his 40-year-old father would still be alive if six sheriff's deputies hadn't used "excessive and unreasonable force" while restraining him during a drug-induced crisis.

The lawsuit alleged the deputies "proximately caused" Eliezer Tirado-Ortiz's death when they held him down and dealt blows to his body with their hands and knees.

Colorado Springs police investigated Tirado-Ortiz’s death, deeming it “a tragic event precipitated by the use of heroin and methamphetamines.” 

The 10th Judicial District Attorney’s Office reviewed the case and cleared the officers involved. 

In January 2019, another man’s family threatened to sue the sheriff after Deramus Lemuel, 38, lost consciousness at the jail while high on drugs and was restrained by jailers in 2018. Deputies “needlessly initiated a use of force that would ultimately result” in the death of Lemuel, who never regained consciousness, the family’s attorney said in a claim letter to the county.

In 2018, the county approved a $675,000 payout — the county’s largest on record — to settle a lawsuit brought by a woman over a 2014 takedown in a jail holding cell. Philippa McCully, then a junior at Colorado College, tore her ACL and fractured her knee when deputies pulled her feet from under her and shoved her to the floor, according to that lawsuit.

Reach Olivia at olivia.prentzel@gazette.com.

Twitter: @oliviaprentzel

Load comments