On the heels of a Justice Department report accusing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of violating the civil rights of Latinos, Arpaio’s department is under fire after an inmate became unresponsive while in custody and is now likely brain dead, according to media reports.
The victim, Ernest M. Atencio, was brought to the Phoenix jail at 3 a.m. Friday when he became “abusive and combative, forcing police and sheriff’s deputies to use ‘defensive efforts’ in restraining him.” Officers took Atencio to a “safe cell” to calm down, and when medical staff checked on him 15 minutes later, he was unresponsive.
The Daily Mail reports that officers used “excessive force,” and Atencio’s family claims he suffered a heart attack after being Tasered by police and did not receive treatment soon enough. “We have to do an investigation,”Arpaio said about the incident. “We do it all the time, we have an incident in the jails…we’re going to do this one too, very professionally.”
- Activists: Inmate on life support after jail fight (sfgate.com)
- Activists: Arizona inmate on life support (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Immigration agents to screen Ariz. jail inmates (sfgate.com)
- ICE Agents to Screen Ariz. Inmates (myfoxphoenix.com)
- Immigration agents to screen Ariz. jail inmates (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Video: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Blasts “Obama and His Band of Merry Men” For Shredding Immigration Law (nicedeb.wordpress.com)