That ruling ripped the heart out of the plaintiff's case. Lawyers had been prepared to present testimony from both their and the sheriff's experts that the clash over the pink underwear had traumatically affected Eric Vogel.

Perhaps the judge should have heard what Sheriff Arpaio himself (who wasn't a witness at trial) told a Houston audience during a speech last September. In discussing his pink-underwear shtick, Arpaio told the Texans for Immigration Reform:

"I always have an official reason [for the underwear] so I can win the lawsuits, and I have my reason, and my reason is [inmates] hate pink. They may like it in California, but they don't like it in Arizona."

Eric Vogel died of a heart attack after learning that the MCSO had filed a new charge against him.
Eric Vogel died of a heart attack after learning that the MCSO had filed a new charge against him.

Tucson-based psychologist Dr. Joel Dvoskin provided expert testimony for the plaintiff that put the tragic and apparently preventable incident into perspective.

"They could have just left [Vogel] alone for a while, and could have just listened to what he was trying to tell them," said Dvoskin, who has evaluated more than 100 jails (many for the U.S. Justice Department) and once headed the nation's largest forensic and correctional mental-health system in New York State.

"You always want to address people without using violence — that should always be your goal. There must be a threat to safety or to the order of running a prison. The main reason why you don't jump on people [like Vogel] is people get hurt — jailers and inmates."

But Lisa Wahlin, who with Dan Struck represented the sheriff's interests, claimed that "there were no alternative methods the officers could have used," and that compelling Vogel to take calming medications would have required use of force.

"To say that medication would have changed the outcome is purely speculation," Wahlin said. "They were trying to get him some medical care."

Vogel attorney Joel Robbins says the experience in Judge Carroll's court was sobering.

"Maybe the pink underwear routine is kind of funny when it happens to a tough guy who beat up his wife or whatever," Robbins says. "But Eric was absolutely terrified by this, and he was extremely seriously mentally ill. That's not so funny."

Robbins says he plans to appeal the case to the U.S. Ninth Circuit.

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9 comments
Teo Buneo
Teo Buneo

He will win the appeal and when he is trying the new one he should raise the monetary damages to a minimum five million. Too bad Arpaio can't be held personally liable. His statement in Houston shows what an evil scum bucket the man is!

Bonnie
Bonnie

I wish there was a Sheriff Arpaio in L.A. back in 1970.

If there had been L.A. wouldn't like like shit hole.

junior
junior

let me see.the police report states that the person was panicked and obviously delusional at the scene.his worst crime at that time was trespassing.why was he not taken to your county hospital first?his actions clearly warranted medical intervention.but county jail?god help the less fortunate people of arizona,junior

Steve
Steve

I also find it hilarious that Paul Ruben thinks that when an inmate is being booked, and he's not cooperating or doing what the officers tell him to do, they should be put in timeout. Those officers don't have time to play their f---ing games! They should not have handled it any differently. Except maybe he should have been taken in when they found out he had a warrant, rather than letting him go.

Steve
Steve

Yeah, the MCSO got away with murder. Believe everything the New Times tells you. HOW PATHETIC! So the MCSO "killed" this mentally ill person because a month after being in their custody he was told he had an arrest warrant...and they didn't even arrest him for it, and he dies of heart failure that night. That's murder? LMAO, the New Times, and their gullible idiotic readers never fail to amaze me. The "mental anguish" of telling him there was a charge against him killed him, so let's throw Sheriff Joe in prison!!!

Coz
Coz

So MCSO got away with Murder again...how nice.

southbound6942
southbound6942

Hey Steve, I get the sarcasm about throwing Joe in prison. Funny. In all seriousness though, a high velocity projectile to the forehead would be quite sufficient. It's too bad that you and all the other people like you don't form a club. You could call it "Joe's Butt Buddies". Pray like hell you never have to spend a night in that jack-asses Resort because you are obviously in need of mental help and you sure as hell won't get any medical attention at Joes. I think Hitler would have loved you (in that "special" kind of way).

Kpegjer94
Kpegjer94

NO dont throw Arpaio in prison for this particular GESTAPO TYPE SHERIFFS REACTION ................ throw him in prison FOR BEING A CROOKED COP .......you all are forgetting his buddy is on trial now .....you remember Thomas ????? dis barment is going to be too good for him ..........MARK MY WORDS .......ARPAIO WILL ANSWER FOR HIS CROOKED DEALINGS.......and to all you Arpaio camp followers .... all the smoke and mirrors is not going to stop it .................when it does happen ........ALL YOU VOCAL ARPAIO FOLLOWERS WILL GO SILENT ....................

 
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