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Matangi Tai, Man Shown in Video Fighting with Mesa Cops, Dies in MCSO Custody

Matangi Tai, being held at Taser-point by a Mesa police officer on May 30.
Matangi Tai, being held at Taser-point by a Mesa police officer on May 30.

Matangi Tai, the man who was the subject of a recent viral video showing purported "brutality" by Mesa cops, died Monday at the Fourth Avenue Jail.

Tai, 37, collapsed during his daily hour of recreation time, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

MCSO spokesman Joaquin Enriquez says a preliminary view of surveillance tapes don't show any signs of Tai being in an altercation.

He adds that Tai had access to the air-conditioned jail through an open door and also had access to water at this time.

There will be an investigation into his death.

Earlier this year, while Tai was supposed to stand trial for another charge of assaulting a Mesa police officer, a judge instead had him committed to a mental-health facility.

A person in contact with Tai's family tells us today that Tai had been on a variety of medications for mental and physical ailments before he was incarcerated.

Tai had gained some media attention for the below video, of his second scuffle with Mesa cops, on May 30.


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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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