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Starr Co. Attorney Responds to Zero Tolerance Policy Allegations

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WESLACO - A new lawsuit filed against the federal government and a Starr County jail alleges a former Trump Administration policy and lack of care are to blame for the loss of one man's life.

The man died by suicide last year while he was under federal custody at a jail in Starr County.

His family believes it was a preventable death, but one brought on by the frustration of being separated from his family.

The Texas Civil Rights project filed the lawsuit this week.

It alleges Zero Tolerance policy created anxiety and stress that led to a separated father's suicide.

The Honduran family crossed the river near Granjeno May 2018.

They were separated by Customs and Border Protection and taken to the processing center.

The man became distraught and aggressive shaking and kicking the cage at the center.

He was taken to Starr County where he got into an altercation with two detention officers.

He was put into a padded cell.

The following day, he had strangled himself with his clothing.

The attorneys contest the jail did not perform the mandatory checks required of inmates considered suicidal or mentally unstable.

Starr County Attorney Victor Canales sent CHANNEL 5 NEWS a response reading:

"Starr County will be vehemently defending this lawsuit. Starr County denies each and every allegation that has been made. Starr County stands behind the sheriff and his staff."

For more information watch the video above.

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