Phoenix police officers recognized that a Latino military veteran was suffering from some sort of mental illness last month before he was taken to what turned out to be a fatal stop in one of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jails.
The veteran, Ernest “Marty” Atencio, died after a Dec. 16 altercation with officers at the jail operated by the Arizona sheriff. Reports obtained Tuesday by Stephen Lemons at the Phoenix New Times document Atencio’s run-ins with police before he was taken to the facility, but they offer no new insight into the events in the jail.
According to the reports, Phoenix officer Sarah Roberts wrote that the military veteran “showed no signs of being a danger to himself or others, he simply appeared to be not medicated and engaged in very random conversation.”
Despite that, there is no indication Atencio was treated differently than a healthy inmate when he was booked into the jail.