Protesters at El Paso County jail say they’re calling for improved mental health treatment for those in custody

The El Paso County Sheriff's office says the protesters are expressing their First Amendment rights.
Published: Oct. 15, 2022 at 7:30 PM MDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2022 at 6:54 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A group of peaceful protesters gathered outside of the El Paso County Jail Saturday. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that this is a peaceful and lawful gathering that they knew of in advance.

The roughly two dozen protesters told 11 News they were gathered on behalf of 18-year-old Dezaree Archuleta, as well as six other inmates who died while in custody at the El Paso County jail. According to the demonstrators, Dezaree was being held in the jail’s suicide ward but still managed to take her own life. The group said they are calling for better mental health care within the county’s jail to prevent future loss of life.

“She should’ve been safe in there,” said Dezaree’s mother, Shelly Romero.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office did provide 11 News with this statement.

“The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office always supports the peaceful exercise of first amendment rights. In this particular case, per EPSO policy, we will not comment due to pending litigation.”

If you or a loved one is suffering from suicidal thoughts or ideation there are resources available to you. Call the 988 emergency hotline if you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis.