NB: Please see my update at the end of this blog item, with links to the full autopsy and toxicology reports.
The Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office has issued a determination as to the cause of death for Marty Atencio, the Army vet brutally beaten and Tased in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's infamous Fourth Avenue Jail on December 15, then shipped off brain dead to Saint Joseph's Hospital, where his family ultimately removed him from life support.
The terse statement reads, in part:
"The cause of death has been determined to be COMPLICATIONS OF CARDIAC ARREST IN THE SETTING OF DUE TO ACUTE PSYCHOSIS, LAW ENFORCEMENT SUBDUAL, AND DUE TO MULTIPLE MEDICAL PROBLEMS. and the manner of death is UNDETERMINED."
The quote above is as it appears in the MEO's one page letter, which you can review, here.
I obtained this copy from the Atencio family's attorney Mike Manning, who says the family soon will file a notice of claim against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and the Phoenix Police Department, as officers from both departments were involved in Atencio's in-custody beat-down.
Asked for a response to the medical examiner's statement, Manning was appropriately outraged.
"This report," he wrote me via e-mail, "coupled with the video of Marty's torturous death and the witnesses who confirm that the MCSO [detention officers] knew Marty was mentally ill and, for sport and amusement, teased him and made fun of him makes this tragedy such a gruesome confirmation of that culture of cruelty that Arpaio has created in our jails."
He added, "The fact that they attacked this sick and vulnerable man for sport and so gratuitously, would embarrass Third World jailers."