Forty-year-old Shon McClain of Apex was taken off life support on June 17, 2013 after doctors determined he was brain dead.
Surveillance video from the altercation shows detention officer Markeith Montrail Council, 28, slamming McClain to the ground during the fight June 4.
RAW VIDEO: Wake Detention Center fight (CAUTION: GRAPHIC)
McClain was awaiting trial on misdemeanor public drinking and failure to appear before a judge.
Council was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 36 months' probation.
The wrongful death lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday seeks damages for "grossly negligent and wanton acts and omissions."
The lawsuit alleges "detention officers employed by the Wake County Sheriff, including Markeith Council, have a history of disciplinary problems that have resulted in the serious injury of other pre-trial detainees."
And that "Sheriff Harrison ignored the clear warning signs that a detainee soon would be severely injured."
The sheriff's office has not responded to the lawsuit.
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