By Jeff Todd
DENVER (CBS4)– The man who was hospitalized after an altercation with Denver Sheriff Department deputies was taken off life support on Friday and died.
Michael Marshall, 50, had been hospitalized since Nov. 11.
Just a few hours after he was taken off life support and died, the family of Michael Marshall gathered in front of the Denver Detention Center to call for action.
“Michael was wonderful,” said Kesha McFarland, Marshall’s niece. “I just wish they had other ways of dealing with people who have mental illness.”
“If there was no wrong doing in this case the city just needs to show the video so the community knows that. This family is in agony wondering what happened to their loved one,” said Mari Newman who is representing Marshall’s family. “We’re seeing what we’ve seen in the past. Denver has refused to release the video to this family to let them know what happened to their loved one.”
Multiple law enforcement sources told CBS4 investigator Brian Maass that Marshall was acting erratically, was uncooperative, and tried to flee when approached by a deputy on the fourth floor of the downtown detention center.
Ultimately, sources say several Denver Sheriff deputies went “hands on” with Marshall, using force in an attempt to restrain him. Court records show Marshall was 5-foot-8 and weighs 130 pounds. Sources say the inmate continued to resist and struggle and at one point he was placed in a restraint chair.
He was handcuffed but deputies said he continued to struggle, and at some point, he stopped breathing. Deputies performed CPR on Marshall before he was transferred to the hospital.
“He was a joy, he brought laughter, so much laughter,” said a pastor from the Network Coffee House, a place Marshall frequently attended. “He was nothing close to a threat whatsoever; he was full of laughter, full of joy.”
Although officials refused to release details about what happened, CBS4 learned Marshall was in jail on a minor trespassing charge. Records show he was arrested in Denver Nov. 7 for trespassing. Marshall has a lengthy arrest record dating back to 1993 in Denver according to state records. He has numerous drug arrests and Colorado Bureau of Investigation records show Marshall has served time in state prison.
The Denver Sheriff Department released this statement on Saturday afternoon: “Our sincere condolences are with the Marshall family at this difficult time. We met with the family yesterday and are committed to a thorough investigation, and transparency into what occurred.”
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.