Sheriff Joe Arpaio Sued Over Death Of Gulf War Veteran With Mental Illness
Ernest Atencio's Family Sues Sheriff Joe Arpaio Over Death Of Gulf War Veteran With Mental Illness
The family of a Gulf War veteran with schizoaffective disorder who died after an alleged beating from Arizona jail officers has filed a lawsuit against Maricopa County, Ariz. Sheriff Joe Arpaio and several other agencies.
"When he went into that facility everyone knew he was mentally ill," Michael Manning, the lawyer representing the family of Ernest Atencio, told The Huffington Post. "He wasn't resistant, violent or combative and they mocked him, they made fun of him, and when they finished with that, they decided they would just beat him up."
Atencio was 44 years old when he was arrested in 2011 on an assault charge after he yelled at a woman in a parking lot in Phoenix, according to a video produced by the ACLU, which is not a party in the Atencio lawsuit but does have pending litigation against Arpaio's office.
Once inside a Maricopa County jail, Atencio -- who had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, according to the ACLU -- was beaten and shot with a stun gun by jail officers in an unprovoked attack, the lawsuit claims.