An attorney for the family of an inmate tased by detention officers and later died is speaking out on behalf of the family.
Last Friday, Sheriff Joe Arpaio releases a controversial video of an inmate being tased inside the 4th Ave jail.
Tonight, an attorney for the family of the inmate says they're horrified by what they saw. Michael Manning will meet with the sheriff and the Phoenix Police Department. If they can't reach a settlement, then Atencio's family will file a wrongful death lawsuit.
“I was horrified at what they did to Marty,” says Michael Manning. “It looked like an absolute brutal assault on Marty for no apparent reason.”
Ernest "Marty" Atencio was arrested for assault by Phoenix Police on December 15th. Officers say he became combative as he was being booked into jail. He was eventually tased and put in a safe cell before he stopped breathing. But Manning says the video proves Atencio was never violent and shouldn't have been taken to the ground.
“He didn’t have any combative behavior. Arpaio said they had to do this to Marty because he was combative -- clearly he was never combative.”
Atencio refused to sit down multiple times, then crossed his arms refusing to listen to an officer’s commands. That’s when a Phoenix Police officer grabbed him. Manning says that should never have happened. Then MCSO detention officers took over.
Atencio struggles with them and is taken to a safe cell.
In that safe cell -- Manning says a detention officer makes three forceful motions towards Atencio's head before he stops moving. Atencio was then left in safe cell for 9 minutes before deputies came in to check on him.
“It is astonishing and inhumane that they didn’t care for him after they beat him up.”
Manning says toxicology results will prove Atencio wasn't on drugs or alcohol. He leaves behind three sons, and a mom and dad.
“To see their son die before their very eyes, it’s devastated this family, they just they can’t even speak.”
Sheriff Joe Arpaio released the video on Friday, saying he had nothing to hide. He says he can't comment until the investigation is complete.
Phoenix Police is also not commenting on the case.