University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Arroyo et al. v. Eischen et al. CJ-CO-0006
Docket / Court 1:21-cv-01687 ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Case Summary
On June 8, 2021, several employees of the United States Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) Business Office filed suit in the U.S. District Court of Colorado against fellow BOP employees who are members Special Operations Response Team (“SORT”) for violation of their Fourth Amendment rights, ... read more >
On June 8, 2021, several employees of the United States Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) Business Office filed suit in the U.S. District Court of Colorado against fellow BOP employees who are members Special Operations Response Team (“SORT”) for violation of their Fourth Amendment rights, intentional infliction of emotional eustress (“IIED”), and Civil Conspiracy. The case is assigned to Magistrate Judge Kathleen M. Tafoya. The plaintiffs allege that on June 20 2019, the defendants conducted a mock hostage exercise that inexplicably escalated to a point where the defendants caused substantial physical and mental harm to the plaintiffs.

On the morning of the alleged incident, the plaintiffs reported to work as usual. After hearing a “man-down” alarm at some point in the morning, the plaintiffs realized there was an ongoing mock hostage exercise. Accordingly, they complied with all BOP policies and procedures. Ultimately, that included confining themselves into a small office and not allowing anyone else to enter until they received official word that the exercise had concluded. While confined in the small office, the defendants consistently tried to make plaintiffs open the door without giving them any official indication that the exercise was over. Plaintiffs accordingly assumed that the defendants were trying to trick them into opening the door as part of the exercise. Subsequently and inexplicably, the plaintiffs violently escalated the situation. In their attempts to get the plaintiffs to open the door, they terrorized the plaintiffs, shot OC spray directly at some plaintiffs using a tool intended for crowd control, and shot into the room with plastic bullets. Eventually, the defendants abandoned their attack and ended the exercise. One plaintiff, who had gone into the exercise with an injured leg and crutches, needed medical attention. Another plaintiff who was pregnant at the time was rushed to the hospital in fear of a possible miscarriage. Several other plaintiffs sustained physical and mental injuries and received subsequent medical treatment. According to the Complaint, the defendants, to this day, have not provided any indication as to why they let the exercise escalate to that level that it did.

Following the alleged incident, the Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) conducted an investigation. It ultimately concluded that “inappropriate and dangerous events transpired.” They further stated that it was a violation of BOP policy to use OC spray and fire plastic bullets at “physically vulnerable” staff members.

The case is currently pending.

Richard Cantoral - 10/22/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Excessive force
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Pepper/OC spray
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens
State law
Defendant(s) Bureau of Prisons
Plaintiff Description Employees of U.S. Bureau of Prisons
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 06/18/2021
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
D. Colo.
09/28/2021
1:21-cv-01687-KMT
CJ-CO-0006-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
not recorded
06/17/2020
OIG Management Advisory Memorandum of Concerns Identified During Mock Exercises by Federal Bureau of Prisons Special Operation Response Teams
CJ-CO-0006-0002.pdf | External Link | Detail
Source: Public.Resource.Org
D. Colo.
06/18/2021
Complaint [ECF# 1]
CJ-CO-0006-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Tafoya, Kathleen M. (D. Colo.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
CJ-CO-0006-9000
Monitors/Masters Horowitz, Michael E (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
CJ-CO-0006-0002
Plaintiff's Lawyers Aro, Edwin P. (Colorado) show/hide docs
CJ-CO-0006-0001 | CJ-CO-0006-9000
Custer, Kathleen K. (Colorado) show/hide docs
CJ-CO-0006-0001 | CJ-CO-0006-9000
Proe, Kristen (Colorado) show/hide docs
CJ-CO-0006-0001
Ryan, Rachel (Colorado) show/hide docs
CJ-CO-0006-0001 | CJ-CO-0006-9000

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