Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart said Clark's autopsy was completed Thursday and his death has been ruled a homicide. The state medical examiner found internal injuries consistent with strangulation and suffocation, Grisham-Stewart said.
The Jackson Police Department is conducting an internal investigation into the incident, City of Jackson spokeswoman Candice Cole said Thursday. The FBI is also investigating, she said.
Officers involved with the arrest have been placed on administrative leave, per department policy, Cole said. The authorities have released few details from public documents such as police reports. It is not clear whether cops were wearing body cameras but it is doubtful because only 60 JPD officers have been issued the equipment. The names of the public servants involved have not been released.
Clark's mother, Shelia Ragland, said her son was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was a teen.
On Feb. 14, Ragland called 911 because her son was having a psychotic episode, WAPT reported. Ragland wants him transported to St. Dominic's Psych Ward.
When officers arrived, they picked Clark up and threw him on the couch, Ragland said in an interview with WLBT. At some point, Clark ended up on the floor, his hands and feet handcuffed, she said. Ragland alleged officers beat Clark on his legs and kicked and hit her son in the head while she pleaded with them to stop.
Kristale Bennett, Clark's girlfriend, told the Clarion Ledger he had asked her to come pick him up on Valentine's day. By the time she arrived at the house, Clark's feet were "chained" to his hands and "four or five" officers were on top of him, beating him, she said.
"He said, 'They're trying to kill me,'" Bennett recalls. She said officers forced her to leave the home.
"They really didn’t have to do him like that," Bennett said. "He was a teddy bear. He didn’t pose no threat at all."
Later, EMTs arrived at the house, the mother told WLBT. Clark was transported to an area hospital and was placed on life support.
Family members say Mario Clark was brain dead after the incident, he died last Wednesday.
Ragland told the Clarion Ledger her son died shortly after midnight on Wednesday morning.
“My baby been through some stuff and everybody has,” Ragland said. “He didn’t deserve this. He did not deserve this right here.”
Ragland is being represented by attorney Dennis Sweet, she said.
Kristal Bennett says, "They were called out to help to get transported to a hospital that was it. they weren't suppose to use any kind of deadly force because he wasn't a deadly threat."
Ragland said her son loved working out, reading and his family. He was employed at a power washing business and leaves behind a 3-year-old daughter.
"I got other kids but he was my best friend," Ragland said. "He was with me every day."
Ragland said she got a call from the Nissan plant this week. The person on the phone told her they had a job offer for her son. The mother had to tell them her son was dead.
Clark had worked hard to become qualified him for the job, she said. A couple of weeks prior, he successfully completed a course at Hinds Community College to get certified to drive forklifts.
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Last month, JPD launched an internal investigation into a different case of alleged police brutality.
On Jan. 13, 62-year-old George Robinson was arrested, then released, by JPD officers. Robinson was rushed to the hospital that night for a head injury and died two days later.
Robinson's family alleges police are responsible for Robinson's death. They have also hired Sweet to represent them. The investigation into the case is ongoing.