A man's death following being restrained by police in a Denver jail has been ruled a homicide. This calls to mind Freddie Gray who died from injuries sustained while he was in police custody after being denied medical attention and Sandra Bland the woman arrested after a traffic stop who was found dead in her jail cell days later, thought to have committed suicide. The man is said to have died from suffocation and a heart attack after being restrained, having also suffered "multiple blunt force injuries and abrasions," according to an autopsy report from a Denver coroner.
The Denver Post reports 50-year-old Michael Marshall was taken into custody on Nov. 11 to the Downtown Detention Center for trespassing and disturbing the peace. Marshall reportedly suffered mental illness. Marshall was restrained after police separated an aggressive Marshall, per an autopsy report. A Denver Medical Examiner's Office news release wrote Marshall specifically died from, "complications of positional asphyxia to include aspiration pneumonia due to being physically restrained by law enforcement during an acute psychotic episode." The 50-year-old was reportedly not cooperating with police and was "combative" which is when police held him in a position and restrained his wrists and ankles, the autopsy report said. Marshall reportedly became unresponsive after he vomited while wearing a "spit mask" police placed on him before having a heart attack.
Marshall died on Nov. 20 in the Denver Health Medical Center where he was taken after the incident. His family took him off of life support. The autopsy revealed Marshall, who had used drugs, had "suffered brain injury, respiratory failure and pneumonia" the Denver Post reports. Heart and lung disease also factored into his death.
Mari Newman attorney for Marshall's family released a statement saying, "Mr. Marshall's family was devastated by death of their beloved brother and uncle, and calls upon the City leaders to take swift and effective action to hold accountable those who killed Michael Marshall. The family also calls upon the Denver District Attorney to prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law."
While the investigation into Marshall's death continues six deputies have been placed on "restrictive duty" the Denver Post writes.