The star of a Netflix reality show based in a Sacramento jail has filed a lawsuit against Sacramento County and a sheriff’s deputy, claiming she was beaten while on a routine medical escort. Yasmin Sundermeyer, featured in the Netflix series “Jailbirds,” alleges while en route to medical she was told by deputies to both lie on the floor and sit on a stool to have her shackles removed. The end result was a terrible beating.
The civil rights attorney representing Sundermeyer filed the lawsuit against the county and deputy alleging “unreasonable force, negligence, and battery.”
Netflix’s tag line for the show describes inmates who “fight the power and one another as they try to make the best of life – and love – on the inside.”
During the incident, Sundermeyer claims the deputies threw her on the concrete floor and then put their body weight on her. She had difficulty breathing and started to cry. All this time, her legs were shackled, and she was handcuffed behind her back.
Sundermeyer was then placed in a restraint chair. The lawsuit accuses Deputy Brittany Linde of continually kneeing her in the abdomen as she attempted to strap her down. Sundermeyer was told to stop resisting, but she was already stuck in a chair, handcuffed and shackled.
Sundermeyer continued to experience pain for months. According to the lawsuit, she fears the injuries may have affected her ability to become pregnant or have a safe pregnancy. The show revealed that she was already the mother of one child.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office denied requests by her attorney for surveillance video of the incident.
Jailbirds first appeared in May 2019 on Netflix, featuring female inmates from the Sacramento County Jail and the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Elk Grove. Sundermeyer, then 19, was one of the first inmates seen in the series, booked on her first felony charges. She was facing charges of car theft, assault with a deadly weapon and leading police on a high-speed chase. The initial season focused on her adjustment to incarceration and navigation of the legal system.
Her mother, Crystal Keller, told a TV reporter the show was “disgusting and exploitive.” She also believes the staff specifically targeted her daughter because of her notoriety from the show.
Sundermeyer was far from the only inmate dealing with the aftermath of reality TV fame. During filming Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies allegedly stood by and watched as fights broke out, and also permitted inmates to incriminate themselves – their lawyers weren’t present. The Sacramento Public Defender’s Office, whose attorneys represented various inmates appearing on the series, was not told that filming was taking place. They feared their clients, not yet convicted, were jeopardizing their cases. Inmates were told by producers they would not receive punishment for on-camera violations.
Sundermeyer later escaped from jail and was brought back and charged with escaping from custody. Her bail, originally $200,000, is now $2 million.
Over the years, the attorneys at Jail Death and Injury Law have developed unique strategies and built a national network of connections that can help them get to the bottom of your case, often in spite of cover-up attempts. They have a well-known track record of maximizing claims and holding culprits accountable.
Are you a victim of prison abuse or neglect? We can help. Contact us at 866.836.4684 or online.