(I) Mike Stauffer (strongest opponent of Sheriff Joe Arpaio) reacts to Latino Veteran autopsy resultsby Dee Dee Garcia Blase on Jun. 01, 2012, under Adam Bustos President of Somos Republicans, American GI Forum, Mexican-American / Chicano political activism, National tequila party movement
Mike Stauffer is an independent candidate and Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s strongest opponent.
Here is Mike Stauffer’s reaction to the autopsy report of a Latino Veteran who died under the supervision of Joe Arpaio.
From Talking Points Memo:
Attorney Michael Manning told TPM he planned to ask for an outside agency to examine the case of Ernest “Marty” Atencio, who lost consciousness and later died following a fight with law enforcement officers inside one of the sheriff’s jails in Phoenix.
Manning said the results of an autopsy released this week, six months after the death, proved what surveillance footage from the jail had already led him to believe: that Atencio would still be alive if sheriff’s detention officers and Phoenix cops hadn’t ganged up on him, pinned him down and given him electric shocks with a stun gun.
“When you look at the report, coupled with the video of Marty’s torture and death, plus interviews with witnesses, it confirms that this was a fairly gratuitous manslaughter of Marty Atencio,” Manning said. “They took it to the lethal level and really killed him in an absolute jailer riot.”
A military veteran with a history of schizophrenia, Atencio was arrested by Phoenix police on suspicion of assault and brought to one of Arpaio’s jails in the early morning of Dec. 16, 2011. The arrest took place just hours after the Justice Department released a scathing report accusing the sheriff and his office of regularly abusing the civil rights of Latinos.
Surveillance video released just days after the death showed that at some point during the booking process Atencio folded his arms and backed up against a wall. That’s when officers grabbed him and began to wrestle him to the ground. During the struggle, the video showed, one of the sheriff’s detention officers used a stun gun to shock Atencio into submission. Soon he was dragged into a holding cell, where he was stripped naked and left laying motionless on the floor for several minutes until medical help was called. He was quickly declared brain dead and several days later was taken off life support.
…. Manning said on Thursday that fellow jail inmates have said officers there used Atencio’s mental health issues to taunt and toy with him while they were booking him.
“They knew he was mentally ill. They teased him. They mocked him. They tried to make him clown for them and ultimately ganged up on him and killed him,” Manning said. “They were playing with him. It was sport to them that night.”
Representatives of both the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Phoenix Police Department declined to talk about autopsy report, citing potential lawsuits.
The Tequila Party Movement wrote the FBI with regard to Marty’s death. In our letter to the Director of the FBI, we seek an outside investigation with regard to the incident of Ernest M. Atencio, a 44-year-old Gulf War veteran who was booked into the jail in Phoenix, when he was allegedly tasered and suffered a heart attack according to his family. We have been told that an internal investigation is being carried out, however, we believe the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) should conduct a full investigation with regard to the possible excessive abusive actions by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) under the leadership of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
See our joint open letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller regarding Gulf War Veteran Ernest M. Atencio below:
December 19, 2011
FBI Headquarters Director Robert Mueller 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
Subject: Gulf War Veteran Ernest M. Atencio while in custody of Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Dear Mr. Robert Mueller:
We are seeking outside investigation with regard to the incident of Ernest M. Atencio, a 44-year-old Gulf War veteran who was recently booked into the jail in Phoenix, when he was allegedly tasered and suffered a heart attack according to his family. We have been told that an internal investigation is being carried out, however, we believe the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) should conduct a full investigation with regard to the possible excessive abusive actions by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) under the leadership of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
According to recent news media, his family told local TV station Channel 5 that he was a ‘loving and sweet boy’ who suffered from a mental illness and is now fighting for his life.
Commensurate with the Daily Mail Reporter, one U.S. veteran of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan attempts suicide every 80 minutes, according to new study. The report reveals 1,868 veterans made suicide attempts in 2009 alone. Many veterans face dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, high employment and a loss of military camaraderie after returning from tours.
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, while Latinos make up 9.5 percent of the actively enlisted forces, they are over-represented in the categories that get the most dangerous assignments – infantry, gun crews and seamanship – and make up over 17.5 percent of the front lines. DOD numbers reveal 35,000 non-citizens currently in the active Armed Forces.
The MCSO should have been trained on how to handle war veterans particularly when there is a history of mental illness and they should be vigilant with regard to the excessive abuse of these veterans. We are seeking the help of the FBI. An investigation should be conducted by the FBI in light of the recent findings provided by the feds via the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Sincerely,Bernie Abeytia Immediate Past American GI Forum Commander of the State of Arizona Shirl Mora James Lead Co-President of National Tequila Party Movement Civil Rights and Immigration Attorney DeeDee Garcia Blase Founder, Co-President of National Tequila Party Movement Adam Bustos National President, SOMOS REPUBLICANS
“…the next time you’re down in Washington, D.C., to go to the Vietnam War Memorial and look at the names engraved in black granite, you’ll find a whole lot of Hispanic names…who love this country so much that they’re willing to risk their lives in its service….remember that these are God’s children…” – Senator John McCain