Joe Arpaio and MCSO "Murdered" Ernest "Marty" Atencio, Says Family

MARETYRESIZE1.jpg
Marty Atencio, in a photo released by his family...

A distraught Mike Atencio, on his way to the hospital to watch his brother Ernest "Marty" Atencio die, told me today that he and his family believe his brother was "murdered" by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's thugs in the Fourth Avenue Jail.

"The sheriff's office murdered my brother," said Atencio, acting as spokesman for his family. "That's what I want to get out to the public right now: Sheriff Joe is murdering inmates." 

Atencio said he was told by MCSO Detective Bryan Cluff that his brother was found in his cell without a pulse. This, after being Tasered by detention officers and placed there, Atencio alleged. His brother was already dead before being rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, he stated.

"To me it's just a ploy, what the sheriff's office has done to this point in time," Atencio told me. "They found him without a pulse. They brought him to the hospital to resuscitate him. It doesn't look very promising...He's hanging by a very thin thread."

MARTYRESIZE2.jpg
Marty Atencio's military photo...

He described his brother as being "viciously" Tasered by jail staff, causing Marty Atencio's heart attack and subsequent death.

"They did it so brutally that they put him into cardiac arrest," an angered Mike Atencio related. "And then they threw him in a cell. So after they killed him, they threw him in a cell to sit."

This contradicts the MCSO's slithery semantics from Friday, where the agency claimed Marty Atencio not die in MCSO custody. 

"What's keeping him alive is the hospital function and the life support," Mike Atencio told me. "Without the life support he would die instantly because he was dead before it even started."

Atencio said he was not sure if the family will have to make the ultimate decision to remove him from that life support today.

He wants the world to know that his brother was "the most patriotic guy on the planet," a military vet, proud of his country. He also described his brother as having "special needs," and said his brother's medication for his illness was "not balanced" at the time he was arrested.

The MCSO had interacted with Atencio's brother on minor violations in the past, and should have had record of his problems. That's assuming they cared to check.

Atencio pointed the finger at the current political climate in Arizona, also noting Arpaio's pattern of racial discrimination as detailed in the recent report from the U.S. Department of Justice.

In the eyes of "Arpaio and his staff," his brother was, "just another [Hispanic]," according to Atencio.

"But not to the city of Phoenix," said Atencio, his voice breaking. "To the city of Phoenix, he was a fine American Latino."

UPDATE 12/19/11 3:55 PM: The Phoenix Police Department's issued a statement on Atencio's arrest, which you can read, here.

UPDATE 12/28/11: For Atencio's obituary and funeral service schedule, please click, here.


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292 comments
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Robert J. Kinnison
Robert J. Kinnison

I'm not seeing what was done wrong here ... He was a criminal .. he got arrested .. he fought with officers .. they tried to calm him down .. he continued to fight .. they stunned him ... and then he died ...   maybe if he would of stayed outta trouble in the first place .. this could of been prevented ......Keep the good work up Sheriff Joe !!!

PAM
PAM

PAM here again.  I have to apologize for my last post.  I had NOT seen the video.  I am sick to my stomach now!  I pray that these police are held accountable to their actions.  I am humbled and ashamed for my comments, and I will NOT be so quick to judge without first having all the evidence.  Guess a person can STILL learn something - even at the age of 50. 

Again, I am sorry. 

PAM
PAM

OK....not ONE person here mentioned WHY Marty (I knew him years ago) was arrested....OR pointed out that he was RESISTANT to the point that the officers felt they needed to use the Taser in the FIRST place!  It IS a shame that Marty's heart could not take being tased...and I am sorry to the family (I am close with his daughter).  However, the officers who deal with prisoners who are combative MUST protect themselves!  What would you all have said if MARTY KILLED ONE OF THEM IN HIS COMBATIVE STATE?  Would you bleeding heart liberals feel the same way? 

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM?!?!?!?!?

murmur55
murmur55

Murdered. Sorry about that, Mr. Marty Atencio. American citizens don't care about protecting their protectors or their fellow citizens.

No one should die from restraint asphyxia, especially when they are already contained in jail and should have been sent to a hospital in the first place.

Condolences to the family on this easily preventable and wrongful death. RIP.

murmur55
murmur55

When you hear: "He died in a struggle with the police", it usually means death due to suffocation, aka restraint asphyxia, a well-known, easily preventable, LEO-associated, cause of death. These restraint deaths will continue until citizens demand criminal prosecution of LEOs. Journalists should stop focusing on the Taser issue in their headlines and concentrate on this far more  important mechanism.

Asphyxial Death During Prone Restraint Revisited: 21 Cases http://bit.ly/p86G5F

Colorado police should learn Wyoming’s lesson - The SCOTUS agrees with a lower court that death in restraint due to suffocation is unconstitutional.  http://bit.ly/q0Euds

Since Arpaio has caused death due to restraint asphyxia on prior occasions, he and his deputies should be prosecuted for murder as well as constitutional civil rights crimes.

Amanda Altamirano
Amanda Altamirano

The blood came back and it was clean. Phx PD has repeatedly said that he was not being held on an assult charge but on a disorderly conduct charge. MCSO falsely reported the assult charge. Watch the video. Marty was no threat to anyone. Why would the deputies remove the cuffs if he was? The removed the cuffs so that they could have an excuse to kill him.

Amanda Altamirano
Amanda Altamirano

TO THE FAMILY OF MARTY ANTENCIO,

WHAT THIS ONE MAN (JOE) HAS DONE THAT HAS BEEN SO DEVISIVE AND EVIL FOR SO LONG, HAS NOW, WITH THE CULMINATION OF THAT BEING IN THE MURDER OF YOUR BROTHER, BEEN USED BY GOD TO BRING US ALL TOGETHER. PEACE BE WITH YOU. WE SHARE IN YOUR GRIEF AND  YOUR PAIN AND YOUR ANGER AND WE GIVE THAT TO GOD AND HE WILL FIGHT FOR US.  

Amanda Altamirano
Amanda Altamirano

To the family of Marty Antencio. Our family thought about you yesterday at Christmas. The kids watched the video. Not a nice thing to do on Christmas. But we did in order to show them what someone else is going through at this time. Our collective thoughts and prayers are with your family. One teenage daughter called her friend and told her she was watching the video and I heard her say to her friend "watch the video, there are 10 guys ganging up on one guy." The kids "get it"  As a taxpayer I don't want to pay for someone elses stupid mistakes. But I really do hope that your family is awards hundreds of millions of dollars. I know that to you it would never be about the money but to "them" it is all about the money.  To ditto a jury foreman's remarks "I am a concervative, but I am not stupid."

Amanda Altamirano
Amanda Altamirano

Here call your County Attorney Bill Montgomery 602-506-3411 and his Public Info Officer Jerry Cobb 602-506-3170 and Attorney General Tom Horne  602-542-5025 Phx and 520 628-6504 Tuc. and demand that those individuals involved are charged with aggrevated assult and first degree murder. This was premeditated on their part. There is nothing that will erode trust faster that to watch officers beat up an unarmed, non-threatening person and kill him and get away with murder. The kids are watching. Call, write, email your government representatives and the Board of supervisors and the DOJ. Forward the videos to everyone you know.  It only takes a second, There are also the videos out there of Deputy Stoddard "stealing" a paper out of a defense attorney's folder in open court and then a video of Coward Joe standing up behind him saying "he didn't do anything wrong" and "he suspected a security breach". Don't let up until Coward Joe resigns and those involved are charged with murder. This kind of behavior is costing us the taxpayers way too much. Right is right and wrong is wrong ALL THE TIME!.

Carolana
Carolana

How many bigots does it take to kill a latino? Ten, the leader of the pack and nine of his henchmen. Saw the video and saw no violence on Martys part. Seems to me this was a plan.Why did they take the cuffs off? This was an obvious plan, hoping that he would get violant. These ten should be held for murder! Jusice needs to be searved.

Lincolndavid
Lincolndavid

Ok, lets look at this from a non racist point of veiw: A person with a long criminal history commits another crime, assault, causing pain and injury to another. This person upon his arrest "loses it" and attacks the police, causing or trying to cause them injury. The police defend themselves from the violent and unstable person's attacks. The police are forced to taze the man several times to make him stop his violent attacks. As a result the man succums to heart failure. This unfortunate chain of events was caused entirely by Ernest Atencio. If Atencio had not assaulted an innocent victem, he would be alive. If Atencio had not assaulted the police he would be alive. If Atencio had stopped assualting the police after the first time they were forced to taze him, he would be alive. Ernest Atencio is only the victem of his own actions. 

Origklutz
Origklutz

Don't get me wrong . Sheriff Joe needs to be held accountable for his actions,but lets not forget we have a vet that served his country and came home needing help and the government that he served was not there to help him.

Dinoserrano
Dinoserrano

The sheriff let's his employees do what they want in those jails to latinos. But the thing is would every latino in AZ stand up don't go to work and protest against the sheriff to get him fired? One man one family can say they would but really would they? Much respect goes to the familys and friends that have lost some one in sheriff joe's jail. But every one needs to ban together and get him out of office.

realist
realist

to USwarveteran:  apparently there is a reply limit.  Anyway, go to the state legistlature website, title 13.  Check the assault, disorderly conduct and domestic violence statutes.  There is nothing about "verbal assault."  Verbal disagreements happen all of the time where people call other people unfriendly terms and no one goes to jail (threats of course are not protected by the Constitution).

http://www.azleg.gov/ArizonaRe... 

DPSnAZ
DPSnAZ

Your language skills lead me to believe that you should have your IQ checked. You know there is a correlation between a rather low IQ and limited language proficiency, don't you?Hint: The cut-off point is somewhere in the vicinity of 49 (threshold for peeling bananas).

Hohohoazhohoho
Hohohoazhohoho

No doubt the goons at AARPaio's jail mistook him for an illegal and since they regularly mistreat Hispanics, they figured whatever happened would be okay with the asshole in charge. 

DPSnAZ
DPSnAZ

Do I get this right? It does create a set of mitigating circumstance if you can poit to another agency doing the same?

DPSnAZ
DPSnAZ

Did you read the description of what happened when that man was run over?

DPSnAZ
DPSnAZ

To run a suspect over, drag him for 10 feet, hurt the person severely and then tell the back up guys to leave him under the vehicle?

KEVIN
KEVIN

Marty was a great guy and a friend.We had great times.                                             Kevin L

Aznative
Aznative

Megalomaniac Joe should have been hung with his own rope a long time ago, all the marks he has carved on his gun are a disgrace, and Mr Atencio, I hope, will be the last mark. RIP Marty Atencio, you have more then earned it. Sigh.... .

David Saint
David Saint

taser will just pay off another coroner and have them blame it on meth or pcp, or anything BUT the 50k volts....

SNAPTIE: Dems = Sitting Bulls
SNAPTIE: Dems = Sitting Bulls

Check out this Douchebags criminal record . Three convictions for assault. Drugs? Don't even go there, multiple for Meth,Coke and Pot. DUI's Two. Tazers and Meth plus being a violent person can be deadly.

Mmartinez449
Mmartinez449

I send my respects & it is truely a travesty what happened

Brenda
Brenda

The best way to start 2012 is to loose that old and decrepit, mean and lazy Sheriff Arpaio and his death squads.

Hernandez297
Hernandez297

So sorry you have to go through this, just like you said your brother is gone, but to a happy better place Heaven, with our creator, what a special time for him to arrive around the day of our saviors birth, tell him you love him and to pray of us, as for sheriff Joe, I believe hes digging his own grave as we speak, and the only place for him will be hell,i pray for your familys comfort god bless, respectibly, Diana

Lfp5691
Lfp5691

Where is our Arizona state Governor Jan Brewer and our state republican senators,county attorney,Arizona state prosecutor.they need to step up history will judge them harshly for there silence which can be interpreted as support for Sheriff joe Arpaios regime.Arizona state government should be ashamed of there lack of leadership.

Lfp5691
Lfp5691

To all you sheriff joe Arpaio republican supporters how long will you keep on supporting these injustices what more needs to happen for you to wake up and see Sheriff Arpaio for what he is.Sheriff Joe Arpaio is guilty of not conducting the sheriff office in a professional manner Sheriff Arpaio is accountable to no one how many more jail death need to take place for you republicans to hold Arpaio accountable.This situation needs to change we can not stand by and see what takes place in he's jails Sheriff joe Arpaio do the right thing and resign.

foxyfido
foxyfido

And once again the question is asked "Where the fuck is Eric Holder and the DOJ criminal investigation?"...I guess the plan is to indict this piece of shit when he's dead. This country instead of being "exceptional" is nothing but a lie.

Lucky
Lucky

I know this is about Marty, but what about the other killing by mcso of the motorcylist.He was handcuffed in the front? Since when does that happen?  I think this is another coverup. My husband saw a clip on Fox 10 where a wittness saw him shot when he was on the ground.  I emailed the DOJ about both incidents. 

Origklutz
Origklutz

My prayers go out to the family.Hopefully Marty"s passing will OPEN the eyes of people in Arizona to put and end to the cruelity of MCSO to inmates incarcerated in Joe Arpaios jail.

Haley James
Haley James

SO sad to see yet another latino lose his life to arizona. All arizona jails and correctional institutions get away with murder after murder, and injust treatment of human beings. I was once an inmate for many years. During my county incarceration an officer took me into a hallway and tried to force himself at me. When brought to sgts. attention, and then jail commander, I was locked down in solitude for 2 years. Just to get an investigation goin I had to sneak letters out, When a friend finally got detective to look into it, I was told "didnt I think it was enough punishment that this man had to go explain to his family why he was fired". This state is a joke and far too long, law enforcement and legislature have gotten away with breaking many laws abundantly. Its time that us latino citizens take back their rights and fight these crooked law enforcment agencies, before they kill off more of our children, brothers sisters and fathers.               My deepest condolonces to your family. It saddens me to know they have gotten away with this yet again

DPSnAZ
DPSnAZ

Excellent post, Bob. If in a Department like the MCSO the head, that is the top brass including the Sheriff himself, stink, pretty soon at least parts of the body will start stinking,too. The fish rots from the head.I feel sorry for the good men and women working for MCSO!

Michael White55
Michael White55

Of course he didn't die in Jail. No one does, they may appear dead but the official death pronouncement comes after they have been shipped out to the medical facility who has the contract with the jail. The same is practiced by State and Federal prisons too. And the EMS personnel are equally as guilty for helping cover up the abuses by being equal partners in the crime. But it doesn't matter because as soon as one is arrested in Maricopa County, one ceases to be human and is delegated to sub human status and treated accordingly.

Gbeedie21
Gbeedie21

Marty was my step dad he was troubled but no one deserves that kind of treatment. I pray for justice. Marty didnt have many people on his side I hope that with this loss people will own up to their mistakes and realize what they did wrong. I knew him and he would want people to know he faught for his life and didnt get the real suppory he needed from family or the govetnment. Let this be a lesson to us all. If you ignode a cry for help then the only person wrong is you

Cindy
Cindy

As mental health professional who once worked in a correctional setting, I am all too familiar with how inmates can be abused.  I believe Joe Arpaio is part of the problem, reflected in our culture at large, which puts the mentally ill, retarded, traumatized, and addicts into prison along with the real criminals.  We gladly pay money to put these folks into jail and prison, which is far more costly than taking care of them the right way.  Joe Arpaio is definitely an immoral, sadistic man.  We better look at ourselves in the mirror and see if any of it is in us too.

David B Wiley
David B Wiley

He wants the world to know that his brother was "the most patriotic guy on the planet," a military vet, proud of his country. He also described his brother as having "special needs," and said his brother's medication for his illness was "not balanced" at the time he was arrested.I put this all on my facebook page, peace.

Jp Morgan
Jp Morgan

Why everyone is against Joe ?  It's just his job to send all Mexicans to Hell or home.

F**kn immgrants leave Our arizona or else Joe sends them to home.

realist
realist

So what happens when Arpaio is gone, a different sheriff is in office and an in-custody death results from someone acting like an animal, being combative and has a pre-disposed medical condition?   The guy was taken to jail for a reason and it wasn't for being citizen of the year.  Obviously he wasn't compliant with instructions and placed himself into a situation where he was tased.  You know what you guys would do if faced with such a person?  You would call the police, even MCSO, because you don't have what it takes to face such a person.

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