Video Shows Arpaio’s Officers Wrongfully Kill Marty Atencio, a U.S. War Vet
Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times was the first to break the story:
“Following on the heels of a report by the U.S. Department of Justice condemning the MCSO for engaging in “discriminatory policing” and blasting its treatment of Latinos in and out of its jails, an incident involving a prisoner at Arpaio’s Fourth Avenue Jail may end up offering more proof of the report’s findings.”
The inmate, Marty Atencio, was a 44-year old U.S. war veteran. On December 20, Atencio died after being pulled off of life support.
On December 23, video of what transpired between MCSO Officers and Atencio was released:
The first video answers a very important question : Atencio was clearly not a threat to the officers, who nonetheless tased him and put him in a choke hold.
There were 9 officers involved in restraining Atencio. That they needed a Taser to subdue him either means that the Officers are remarkably weak or that Atencio’s strength matched that of an offensive lineman in the NFL.
The second video unequivocally shows officers throwing Atencio into a cell, stripping his clothes off, and leaving him there like a proverbial piece of trash. It also shows an officer firmly striking Atencio in the vicinity of his head several times with his knee. The latter’s assault was so egregious that it caused a fellow MCSO officer to intervene.
For about two minutes, a heavy-set officer appears to be applying consistent and strong pressure upon Atencio’s back, which as his family’s attorney stated:
“it looks like there’s an officer placing his weight on Marty’s back, which of course compromises severely a body’s ability to breathe.”
To end the inmate’s life, officers left Atencio unconcsious, laying on the floor naked, for the next 11 minutes until they entered the cell and found him dead. He was resucitated, but brain dead, forcing the family to make the decision to take him off life support.
Do not be fooled by any spin: this is manslaughter. The state of mind of the officers was reckless. They knew that when they left the cell, Marty Atencio was unconscious. They knew that Atencio had been tasered and kneed in the head at least once, yet they left him for just about enough time to leave him dead.
At the very least, notwithstanding the excessive force that they used against him, the officers should have immediately brought him to a hospital when it was apparent he was unresponsive.
But this story, as mind-numbingly shocking as it is, will at best result in financial compensation to Atencio’s family. Which, in the end, means nothing for the victim.
Stand up, Federal Government, and dispose the United States of a Tyrant. Indict Joe Arpaio.
*For the best detailed reports on this story, read here.