St. Louis inmate with disability gets shower after suing city
Even so, an inspection by Tillman’s legal team revealed that the shower provided by the city was in fact not ADA compliant
ST. LOUIS – With the help of several legal organizations, a 40-year-old City Justice Center inmate with paraplegia was given a shower after he sued the city. In the 160+ days of his detention, he was not given a wheelchair accessible shower.
On March 26, ArchCity Defenders announced that the city has agreed to provide an accessible shower for Anthony Tillman, including the equipment and assistance he needs to bathe safely. Even so, an inspection by Tillman’s legal team revealed that the shower provided by the city was in fact not ADA compliant.
“Even though the physical showers are not ADA compliant, I am still humble that I at least shower. I still feel like I’m going to take revenge for being brave enough to speak about the harsh behavior and inhumane practices at the CJC, ”Tillman wrote in a news release.
The court ordered the city to shower for 14 days. Tillman’s team has since filed an injunction to extend his access to a shower beyond those two weeks.
Prior to the lawsuit, which was filed on March 9, Tillman and his attorneys wrote that City Justice Center staff provided Anthony Tillman with a sink and rag to bathe. However, due to his physical disability, Tillman is unable to reach his body and wash it completely.
RELATED: According to legal proceedings, a man with disability was denied a shower at the St. Louis Justice Center for 150 days
“I just want to be treated fairly, as everyone else should be treated,” Tillman wrote in the ACD press release at the time the lawsuit was filed. “I am disabled and would like to be accommodated. I speak out and tell my story because if someone who is paraplegic is in the same situation, they shouldn’t have to experience what I have experienced.”
Tillman requested two things from the court. The first is an injunction that requires the city to provide him with an accessible shower. The second is financial compensation for the emotional distress, pain, and suffering he experienced during his imprisonment.
In a media release, Tillman thanked the organizations that helped him file the lawsuit. These include ArchCity Defenders, the MacArthur Justice Center, rights behind bars, and Saint Louis University legal clinics.
“Hopefully in the future if I speak up, their practices will change and someone else with paraplegia won’t have to go through what I went through,” he wrote. “I’m grateful again that my lawyers helped me hear my voice.”
Tillman’s complaint can be read at https://bit.ly/3eqTCzy.
That lawsuit comes just over a month after inmates of the City Justice Center protested the conditions of detention by occupying most of the fourth floor of the St. Louis City Justice Center for several hours, breaking windows and setting fires.
Following the uprising, several local interest groups asked the city to allow lawyers to review the conditions at the City Justice Center. However, the city replied with a resounding “no”.
ArchCity Defenders noted in their media release that Tillman’s suit poses a much bigger problem with the city’s prisons.
ArchCity Defenders wrote that they have received hundreds of calls since December and had over 160 conversations with inmates of the CJC and the Workhouse and their loved ones about various inhumane conditions such as low temperatures, violence and reprisals by prison guards, lack of food, water, etc. . and medical care as well as the lack of COVID-safe protocols.