Lawsuit planned after Cactus Car Wash death

Updated:

ATLANTA,None —

The family of a man killed after police said he tried to rob a car wash is planning a lawsuit against the business and its employees.

Keary Jackson, 41, died after police said a group of Cactus Car Wash employees pinned him down last November.

Jackson's attorneys say what the employees did amounted to murder.

"That vigilante mob of Cactus Car wash acted as the police, the judge, the jury and the executioner," Terance Madden told Channel 2's Tom Jones.

Amateur video shot by a witness shows several men on top of Jackson near the car wash on Ponce de Leon.

"They killed him. He did not deserve to die," said Julian Sanders, another one of Jackson's attorneys.

For most of the video, you can't even see Jackson because he's at the bottom of a pile, Sanders said.

Atlanta police said Jackson attempted to rob the car wash's accountant as he was leaving the location on the way to the bank last November.

Police said Jackson maced the accountant and tried to grab his money bag. A struggle ensued and police said that when Jackson was unable to get the bag, he took off running.

Several workers caught up with him and that's when they pinned him on the ground and used plastic ties to bind his hands.

“He was basically suffocated and he was tortured by having that amount of pressure on his body,” Sanders said.

On the video, you can hear the employees explain what happened.

"He maced me and he maced my accountant," one said.

"I got like eight people on him," a voice screams out.

"One employee is seen pushing his leg up further pushing his chest and face down into the ground ensuring that he could not breathe," Madden said.

Someone curses Jackson.

"Robbed the wrong people buddy. God damn you stupid," said another person.

Then someone says, "Let him breathe guys." You soon see police arrived and check Jackson's pulse. He's unresponsive. He's pronounced dead at the hospital.

A car wash manager said by phone that his workers didn't cause Jackson's death.

Geo Perez said Jackson inhaled some of the mace he sprayed and that may have led to his demise.

As for his employees' actions, he said, "I think the employees reacted on a co-worker's defense basically."

The medical examiner ruled Jackson's death a homicide. The cause of death was listed as acute sickle cell crisis due to Sickle Cell trait exacerbated by physical exertion. The other condition listed is mechanical asphyxia due to chest compression by others.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard took the case to a grand jury, but it chose not to indict anyone.

Now a lawsuit is planned.

Former prosecutor and defense attorney Phil Holloway said a jury may ask this question about Jackson: "Did he not assume the risk that someone might use force against him even to prevent his escape."

Madden said his client bears responsibility for the alleged attempted robbery.

"He does not bear responsibility for the actions taken by others," he said.

Madden said the employees had no security training and said many of them had criminal records themselves.

The Cactus Regional Manager said the workers are remorseful and some have had to have counseling because of this.