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Marty Atencio

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Marty Atencio
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As reported by KPHO: PHOENIX (CBS5) – Valley taxpayers could pay the price again after another death inside one of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jails. MCSO and the Phoenix Police Dept. have been put on notice that multi-million dollar lawsuits may be headed their way, stemming from the death of a jail inmate. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is facing a lawsuit of $15 million. The Phoenix Police Department is facing a lawsuit of $5 million. Both agencies are accused of causing the death of Marty Atencio shortly after he was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail in December 2011.

Michael Manning is the attorney for Atencio’s family. “Both agencies violated their policies and procedures horribly,” said Manning. “They really took this guy’s life without provocation and with no justification.”

MCSO released video documenting the two hours Atencio was an inmate on Dec. 16. According to MCSO, Atencio was abusive and uncooperative from the moment he was taken into custody. The video shows Atencio acting erratically in the booking area, sometimes yelling and screaming. However,  the documents filed Friday claim that Atencio was not violent and did not require a sudden takedown by officers, then repeatedly hit with a Taser. “It was 30 to 40 seconds before they attacked him that they take his handcuffs off,” said Manning. “You never take handcuffs off an inmate you think is going to be aggressive or resistive. You never do that.”

Manning told CBS5 that this case is not about a big payday at taxpayers’ expense – it’s about making sure something like this doesn’t happen again. “This is not now, or never will be, about money with this family,” Manning said. “They would like this sheriff to apologize for what was done here and to see justice against those that did this to their son.”

http://www.kpho.com/story/18742647/inmates-death-sparks-potential-20m-lawsuit

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