SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement issued by the law firm Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, on behalf of the family of Marshall Miles in the case of Soto v. County of Sacramento, et al:
On October 28, 2018, Marshall Miles stopped breathing, lost consciousness, and ultimately died from injuries sustained while being held face down on the concrete floor of Segregation Cell 3 at the Sacramento County main jail. His tragic and completely unnecessary death happened at the hands of Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputies, with the assistance of an officer from the California Highway Patrol.
At the time Marshall stopped breathing, three Sheriff's Deputies were on top of him, pressing their knees into his shoulders and back, compressing his chest and preventing Marshall from being able to breathe. Marshall was helpless at the time, shackled at the wrists and ankles. Marshall was surrounded by more than 6 Sheriff's Deputies and supervisors, was unarmed and posed no legitimate risk to safety of anyone involved. Immediately before this fatal event, Sacramento Sheriff's Deputies assisted the arresting CHP officer by carrying Marshall into the jail using a restraint device commonly referred to as a hog-tie. This device is prohibited by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.
Throughout the more than 20-minute encounter, Marshall Miles repeatedly told the Deputies he couldn't breathe. Marshall begged the Deputies for air. The Deputies ignored his pleas. After Marshall lost consciousness, they watched Marshall lie lifeless on the jailhouse floor for close to a minute before finally deciding to render aid. By the time they did, it was simply too late. Marshall never regained consciousness. He was taken off life support three days later.
Since the incident, involved Deputies testified that they had never been trained on the safe ways to position people when restrained. They claimed to know nothing at the time about the risks of positional asphyxia. Deputies also testified that the Department has not informed them of any corrective action or new protocols the Department wanted them to use in the future. All remain employed as Deputy Sheriffs to this very day.
It is with deep sadness that we watch the same conduct continued against other black men throughout the nation. On Monday, we noticed the deposition of the elected sheriff of Sacramento County, Scott Jones for July 27, 2020. We intend to ask Sheriff Jones why his Deputies had not been trained on well-established law enforcement practices that prevent senseless deaths like the death of Marshall Miles and George Floyd. We intend to ask him why, more than 18 months later, he has done nothing about it. And we intend to ask him how, based on his inaction, he can assure the residents of Sacramento County that this won't happen again.
Sheriff Jones is uniquely qualified to testify to these issues. We are optimistic that he will attend his deposition and not send his attorneys into court to block our deposition subpoena. Marshall's family and the Sacramento community deserves transparency and answers. As we await an answer from Sheriff Jones, we will continue to fight for justice on behalf of Marshall Miles and his family.
SOURCE Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP