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Does the family of a robbery suspect who died after he allegedly attempted to rob the Cactus Car Wash in Atlanta have a right to sue?

Their attorneys seem to think so. In fact, attorney Terrance Madden called the car wash employees a “vigilante mob.”

Keary Jackson, 41, died Nov. 8, 2010 while Cactus Car Wash employees were holding him down.

The employees stopped Jackson from escaping after he sprayed another employee with mace and attempted to steal a bag of money.

No criminal charges were ever filed, but Madden hopes cell phone video taken of the incident will be enough proof to persuade a judge and jury.

“He did not deserve to die. Jail yes, death no. So what you have is this Cactus Car Wash mob being the police, the judge, the jury and indeed the executioners,” said attorney Madden.

A bystander’s video purportedly shows the employees holding down Jackson. This video, supplied by attorneys for Jackson’s family, is part of a lawsuit against that car wash.

“They came and hogtied him like an animal and then, at the end of the day he died…at no time do I want anyone to understand that we’re trying to justify the actions of Mr. Jackson,” said attorney Terance Madden.

The incident happened last November. Madden admits Jackson sprayed an employee with mace and attempted to take a bag that was filled with money.

“The crime that he was committing was already over. He was not in the middle of spraying, he had already completed that. He had failed in grabbing the bag. He was running, they ran after him,” said attorney Madden.

“It was not just the employees and their actions, but it is the whole thing that was set up by Cactus Car Wash and their negligence in securing their property,” said Madden.

Former prosecutor and attorney J. Tom Morgan thinks the lawsuit is a joke.

“Sounds like too many lawyers with too much time on their hands,” said Morgan.

Morgan said according to state law, a robbery is a forcible felony. He said those employees had the right to use deadly force, if necessary to stop Jackson.

It doesn’t appear that was their intention in the video.

Morgan also said the getaway was part of the attempted robbery.

“Sorry for Mr. Jackson, but what a jury would say is that he shouldn’t have been robbing the place in the first place,” said Morgan.

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