A man died after police allegedly broke his neck as they arrested him, before holding up his head to take his mugshot.
Jorge Gonzalez Zuniga died three months after his custody photo was taken, with his grieving family blaming “brutal, unreasonable and excessive force” used during his detention.
The 23-year-old’s picture shows his head being held straight by a pair of gloved hands, after police brought him in following reports of a dispute in Texas, US, April.
According to a lawsuit by his loved ones, officers “tackled and assaulted” Zuniga before crushing his neck at the scene.
They then “handcuffed him and put him in ankle restraints, intentionally tripped him while shackled, and Tasered him for a second time”, it is claimed.
It is claimed no-one checked on him in his cell for 21 hours and he was only taken to hospital after being discovered unresponsive.
Zuniga then underwent ‘multiple’ surgeries and his family say he had to be connected to a ventilator because he could not breathe on his own.
But on June 15 he died of a heart attack due to complications from his injuries, they said.
In a statement through his lawyer, his mother said: “Every day that I would see him in the hospital bed, not being able to move, would kill me.
“They took my companion – the love of my life.
“I just ask for fair justice because he was a human being, not an animal. He didn’t deserve to suffer the way he did and no one does.
“He was only 23 and had a one-year-old child. He will never play with his son again.”
The Texas said said at the time they were investigating the case.
According to local news outlet The Monitor, a Hidalgo County grand jury voted on August 20 not to indict the arresting officer for manslaughter.
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