Raw Video – Taser Death Of Ernest Atencio – Maricopa County Jail

A man found unresponsive in a jail cell after fighting with deputies at a Phoenix jail died this week after being taken off life support. The Maricopa County sheriff's office released surveillance video Friday that captured Ernest Atencio's scuffle with officers.

Atencio’s family was exploring a possible lawsuit against the embattled Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, said Michael Manning, a Phoenix attorney who has won five wrongful death lawsuits against the department.

Manning said Atencio’s family took him off life support Tuesday. He said the 44-year-old man had no brain activity from the moment he arrived at the hospital Friday, did not have alcohol or drugs in his system and had marks from a stun gun on his body.


Latino activists say that Atencio’s death raises more questions about practices under Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio’s office said Wednesday afternoon that it had no immediate comment on the issue but planned to make a formal statement within two days.

A Justice Department investigation released last week found that Arpaio’s office committed wide-ranging civil rights violations against Latinos, including a pattern of racial profiling and heavy-handed immigration patrols based on racially charged complaints. A defiant Arpaio has called the allegations a politically motivated attack by the Obama administration.