Federal lawsuit filed to release some inmates from Shelby County Jails

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A federal lawsuit was filed to release some inmates from Shelby County Jails.

The lawsuit wants emergency action to protect medically vulnerable people, including people with disabilities that are detained at the jail who are at high risk of severe injury or death from COVID-19.

Have questions about the spread of coronavirus? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak. CLICK HERE for more.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, the American Civil Liberties Union, Just City, Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and attorneys Brice Timmons and Steve Mulroy filed the lawsuit against the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

In the lawsuit, Favian Busby and Michael Edgington are the plaintiffs named. Both are inmates at the Shelby County Jail.

They sought to represent all current and future medically vulnerable pretrial detainees held in the jail who are at high risk of severe infection or death from COVID-19.

The lawsuit stated that Edgington, 60-years-old, is a pretrial detainee. If he was to contract COVID-19, his age would put him at a higher risk of illness or death.

Related: Over 150 inmates at 201 Poplar have tested positive for COVID-19

Busby is a pretrial detainee who has diabetes and takes insulin. He has developed hypertension as a result of his diabetes.

Friday, the SCSO reported that 66 employees and 151 detainees tested positive for COVID-19.

MORE: 400 people tested for coronavirus at 201 Poplar, officials say

SCSO officials reported Tuesday that some inmates were reintegrated into the housing units after they had more than 14 days of quarantine with symptom checks twice daily.

They also said inmates have been cleared by their medical vendor to be released from medical quarantine without an additional test.

FOX13 reached out to SCSO for a comment and they said, “SCSO does not comment on pending litigation.”

For the latest on coronavirus, stream FOX13 News on FOX13 Memphis Now – it’s free on your Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV as well as your FOX13 News App.

List of Mid-South closings and cancellations due to coronavirus outbreak