Ethan Palmer sues police over jailhouse beatdown by inmates

Ethan Palmer, right, was beaten in a jailhouse in Iowa, pictured in surveillance video, left and is suing over it. (Jailhouse image is a screenshot from ABC Cedar Rapids, Iowa affiliate KCRG. The photo of Palmer is from court records)

An informant who testified against a meth dealer is suing a county sheriff in Iowa and federal authorities alleging they failed to protect him from a brutal assault by a convicted killer and a drug dealer in a jailhouse beatdown caught on video.

Ethan Palmer said despite his extensive injuries and post-traumatic stress from the May 27, 2022, assault at the Linn County Correctional Center, he still testified in the successful prosecution of Justin Michael Buehler, 39.

“To add insult to injury, the various parties responsible for Palmer’s safety during this ordeal have all refused to accept any responsibility and appear more interested in pointing fingers and blaming others for the assault,” the complaint said. “Meanwhile, despite his assistance and testimony from him in support of the prosecution, Palmer lingers in the Black Hawk County Jail, cast aside and forgotten by those he aided and who were responsible for his safety from him.”

Palmer’s story is a cautionary tale to anyone considering helping the US government against a criminal defendant, the complaint said, arguing it was entirely preventable and one that should have been remedied.

Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.

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