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A man who was shot by West Jordan police is suing police and Salt Lake County over his injuries in the shooting, as well as alleged mistreatment in jail.
In a lawsuit filed Monday, Timothy James Peterson says that some time after he was shot on July 10, 2014, he was taken to the Salt Lake County jail, where he remained in a holding cell for more than 10 hours as he bled through his hospital bandages. When a nurse told a guard that Peterson needed new bandages, the guard said he did not care, the lawsuit states.
Peterson then was put in a cell in the second floor, he said, even though he had been shot in his lower body and had to crawl to negotiate stairs to obtain meals and medication.
West Jordan police officers shot Peterson, 33, after they saw him at the Jordan Landing shopping complex. Officers have said he violated his wife's protective order and posted threats on social media, saying he would shoot a police officer. When officers approached, they said he pulled out an object that flashed silver and red; they said they believed it was a handgun. Police have said Peterson appeared to point the object at Officer Ian Adams, who fired 10 shots at Peterson as Peterson ran.
Peterson actually was carrying a metal bar that was bent in the shape of a handgun, which had a red laser pointer taped to the "barrel," according to a report by Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, who found the shooting by police to be legally justified.
Peterson spent about five days in a hospital and was charged in August 2014 with assault against a police officer, a second-degree felony, and misdemeanor counts of unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon and failure to stop at the command of law enforcement. Prosecutors dropped the misdemeanors, and a 3rd District Court jury in February acquitted Peterson of the assault charge.
Before that, Peterson spent 19 months in jail, during which he says jail guards harassed him, subjected him to searches that required him to stand while he was not able to and confiscated his pain medications.
"[Peterson] was targeted by ... Salt Lake County guards because of his assault against a peace officer charge stemming from the July 10, 2014, shooting incident," the lawsuit states.
The West Jordan Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A spokesperson for the Salt Lake County jail said she could not comment on pending litigation.