The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office has ruled that deputies in the El Paso County jail were justified in using deadly force on an inmate in January, the Sheriff's Office said in a statement Thursday.

Brian Clark, 44, died Jan. 17 after bursting naked from a cell in the jail's medical section when two jailers opened the door to provide him a security smock, surveillance video showed. 

Jail staff then wrestled him to the ground, where the struggle continued for about 10 minutes as more deputies rushed to assist, the video showed. 

Clark died after suffering a “major cardiac event” while being restrained by deputies, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office notified the Sheriff's Office Wednesday of its ruling, saying the staff's actions "were legal, appropriate and justified," the statement said. 

Clark was booked into the jail Jan. 7 on a warrant for failure to appear after being arrested in 2018 on suspicion of indecent exposure, a misdemeanor, and driving under the influence. The DUI charge was a felony because he had three prior offenses, according to court records.

No information was released about why Clark was in the medical wing before his death. 

Contact Liz Henderson, 719-476-1623

Twitter: @GazetteLiz

Multimedia Journalist

Liz is a multimedia journalist who joined the Gazette staff in 2019.

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