$7M settlement approved in man’s death at jail run by Arpaio
PHOENIX (AP) — Maricopa County officials voted Wednesday to pay $7 million to settle a lawsuit over the 2011 death of a mentally ill man in a jail run by then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The settlement resolves claims against Arpaio and his jail officers in Ernest Atencio’s death.
Phoenix police, who arrested Atencio on a misdemeanor assault charge and were involved in his booking at the jail, remain as a target of the lawsuit.
The lawsuit says Atencio died after officers beat him and shot him with a stun gun.
The officers who arrested Atencio had concluded his erratic behavior before being brought to jail was due to mental illness, not intoxication.
Excluding the $7 million settlement, Maricopa County has paid $33 million in jail-related legal claims filed during Arpaio’s 24 years as sheriff.