Denver city officials announced Wednesday that three Denver sheriff’s deputies have been suspended for at least 10 day without pay in the jail death of a mentally ill Black inmate who choked on his own vomit while being restrained, ABC News reports.
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In January 2016, the district attorney declined to file criminal charges against the three officers, including a supervisor. In addition to their unpaid suspensions, the deputies will undergo remedial training in the use of force.
The incident occurred in 2015 when Michael Marshall had a psychotic episode and became aggressive toward another inmate. When the 50-year-old homeless man ignored orders from the officers, the deputies retained him for several minutes while he suffocated.
From the Associated Press:
Attorneys for Marshall’s family said the discipline is inadequate and suggested the guards should have been fired, if not prosecuted. They also said there were up to 11 people present while Marshall, who weighed about 110 lbs. (50 kilograms), was being restrained who should have also been disciplined.
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“There are multiple people in law enforcement and medical personnel that were involved in Mr. Marshall’s death. Three people will be disciplined and the discipline is laughably light. It would be laughable if it weren’t so serious,” said attorney Darold Killmer. “It’s especially inadequate since we know that this isn’t the first or the second or third time people have died at the hands of Denver law enforcement.”
The attorney said Marshall’s family is considering whether to file a civil lawsuit.