The family of U.S. Army veteran Marty Atencio is filing suit today in Maricopa County Superior Court over his brutal death late last year in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Fourth Avenue Jail.
Atencio, who suffered from mental illness, was off his meds and wandering the streets in a daze on December 15, when he was picked up by Phoenix cops, allegedly because he had frightened a woman with his bizarre behavior.
That woman later stated that she'd hoped Atencio, 44, would receive the help he needed if he was in custody.
Instead, he received a one-way ticket to a military funeral.
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Though Atencio was processed first without incident at the Phoenix Police Department's southern command station, his experience later in Fourth Avenue would be brief, humiliating and fatal.
There, Atencio was taunted and made fun of by MCSO detention officers, as is recounted in the suit:
After going through the medical screening, Marty was taken to have his mug shot taken. While Marty was having his mug shot taken, the D.O.s were taunting him, asking him to "clown" for them, telling him to "turn left," "turn right," and making fun of Marty's inability to follow instructions.
As the guards made fun of Marty, they told him to make funny faces and the photographer, and a female Detention Officer, kept saying "let's make this one the Mug Shot of the week." After they took a particularly humiliating mug shot, the D.O.s had finished their fun with Marty and took him back to the holding tank.