Weld County, CO, Sheriff Steve Reams has been one of the most vocal critics against red flag laws since Colorado legislators started considering one in 2019.
When he learned an inmate in the Weld County Jail used the law to ask a judge to remove less-lethal weapons from Reams and a unit in the jail, he was frustrated to see it being abused in the ways against which he warned.
On Feb. 25, Weld District Chief Judge James Hartmann reviewed and denied a temporary extreme risk protection order filed by an inmate of the jail. Reams learned of the petition later that day, when Hartmann forwarded him the dismissal. The inmate will not be named at the request of Reams due to a concern the inmate is seeking notoriety through frivolous complaints, the Greeley Tribune reports.
Deputies “carry shotguns inside the jail intimidating and excessively abusing inmates with these shotguns,” the inmate wrote in the complaint. “These deputys (sic) carry these deadly weapons 24 hours a day patrolling the floors of this jail intimidating and threatening people for the most minor things.”
The “shotguns” the inmate referenced are actually less-lethal weapons used by a specialized team of deputies in the jail for situations with enhanced security risks. Hartmann determined the inmate failed to show the deputies posed “a significant risk of causing personal injury to self or others in the near future.”