PHOENIX - An internal investigation is under way at the Phoenix Police Department after ABC15 talked with the family of a man who died after being taken into custody.
Cell phone video shows 44-year-old Michael Ruiz jumping from the roof of an apartment complex and Phoenix police surrounding him. It looks like the officers put him in a choke hold and begin to drag him down the stairs.
The video then shows Michael’s head hitting each step on the way down. Witnesses say they saw police use a stun gun on Michael several times while he was still on the roof.
Ruiz died after being taken into custody.
Police spokesman Sgt. Steve Martos said it's too early to comment on specifics because detectives are still looking into what happened and if officers followed police policy.
“I think when people look at this they may see something that perhaps they don't like. However, again I have to underscore the fact the investigation is not over. Us looking into this particular incident is not complete yet and so it is, again, premature for people to make judgment when the investigation is not over,” said Martos.
The cause of death won't be known until the medical examiner and toxicology reports are finalized.
ABC15 asked Martos if officers had to drag Ruiz down the steps or if the officers could have done something differently.
“I'd really like to answer that question however I'd have to go into detail which I’m really not, at this point, ready to go into but there are certainly some reasons why certain things occurred on this particular date,” said Martos.
According to Martos, as of now, no action has been taken against the officers. They are still at work on the streets pending the outcome of the investigation.
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