The family of an inmate who was found not breathing in his jail cell in December 2011 has filed a lawsuit against the city of Phoenix and Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
The family of Ernest Marty Atencio filed the suit in Maricopa County Superior Court on Monday.
The notice of claim was filed back in June, which claimed Atencio's fatal injuries were a result of a jailer's riot allegedly started by two Phoenix police officers. The family also claims excessive force was used by Maricopa County Sheriff Office employees.
The autopsy, which was completed by Maricopa County Medical Examiner Dr. William Stano, found the cause of death for Atencio, 44, to be "complications of cardiac arrest in the setting of acute psychosis, law enforcement subdual and multiple medical problems."
The Maricopa County Medical Examiner's office said on Dec. 15, 2011, a woman called 911 after Atencio allegedly walked up behind her and began yelling at her.
Atencio was arrested for assault and was held in Phoenix police custody.
An officer used a stun gun to subdue him, his family said, and he was placed in a safe cell, where he was under observation by medical personnel. When they checked on him about 15 minutes later, the staff found him not breathing, according to Jack MacIntyre, a deputy chief with the sheriff's office.
In an official statement, MacIntyre said medical staff initiated CPR and other resuscitative efforts before the arrestee was taken to a hospital for treatment.
He remained in critical condition until Dec. 20, 2011, when he was pronounced dead.
The family is requesting a trial by jury.
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.
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