Marty Atencio Laid to rest after death in sheriff's custody - Phoenix
Ernest "Marty" Atencio, who was repeatedly tased by sheriff department officers, was buried today in Phoenix. Atencio's family was overcome with grief as the 44-year-old veteran of the US military was buried. USA. 4th January 2012
Atencio was taken into custody by the Phoenix police department in December, hours after a scathing news conference by the United States Department of Justice, indicating they believed the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office was operating with racial bias against Latinos.
The Phoenix police department turned Atencio over to Sheriffs department officers at the downtown Phoenix jail, a jail system run by the Sheriffs department.
According to a statement by the MCSO, Atencio became belligerant and refused commands while in the "booking station" area. A grainy video has been released by MCSO (without sound) that appears to show Attencio standing with his back to a wall, surrounded by law enformcement officers. The video doesn't seem to show Atencio lashing out at officers, rather the group of over ten officers acts as if on cue and moves in Atencio, wrestling him to the ground where the tasing occurs. A lawyer for the Atencio family says he was tased six or more times.
Attencio was taken to a holding cell and placed on a floor naked for what the MCSO says was a fifteen minute period. When officers went to check on him, they found his breathing had stopped.
Attencio was then rushed to a local hospital, where he lay in a comatose state for days before the family decided to follow doctor's advice and remove him from life support on December 22nd.