ACLU files lawsuit against Shelby County Sheriff’s Office

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The Shelby County jail at 201 Poplar

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is facing a new lawsuit over its handling of inmates during the coronavirus pandemic.

Attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of two inmates at the jail. Both are said to be at higher risk of COVID-19 because of their age and existing health conditions like diabetes.

The ACLU is calling for the immediate release of vulnerable inmates who don’t pose a flight risk.

About 200 people at the jail have tested positive for the coronavirus and at least one employee has died.

The lawsuit claims the sheriff’s office is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and inmate rights to equal protection under the law.

WREG reached out to a sheriff’s office spokesman overnight who said they do not comment on pending litigation.

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