We are learning that a lawsuit has been filed by the relative of Earl McNeil, a man who died after an incident with National City police last June. The lawsuit claims that officers used excessive force and then failed to provide medical care to McNeil.
Edward “Skip” Babbitt knows that cases of excessive use of force by police can be complicated, but that does not mean they should not be pursued. If you need a San Diego wrongful death attorney, contact Skip today. He will work diligently to determine what happened so he can secure the compensation you deserve.
What Happened In This Case?
The family of Earl McNeil says that the violations were fueled by “unconstitutional policies and practices.” Named in the lawsuit is National City, the former National City police chief, as well as several officers involved.
McNeil died on June 11. This was 16 days after he turned himself in on a warrant. Instead of simply taking him into custody for the warrant, officers handcuffed him and detained him on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance. Police say they only did this after he began to struggle with them and that he had a bag of methamphetamine in his pocket.
Officers placed McNeil in a WRAP device, which is a still blanket used to immobilize a person’s legs. He was in the device for around two hours and also had socks placed on his head to keep him from spitting on officers. The county jail declined to take him and an ambulance was called. While waiting for paramedics to arrive, McNeil stopped breathing. He was resuscitated but never regained consciousness. He was dead 16 days later after his family terminated life support. An autopsy showed brain damage caused by respiratory arrest.
All of this happened after he turned himself in.
Why did the police not call EMS earlier, as soon as he began to display signs of being under the influence?
Did the WRAP device play a part in McNeil’s health problems?
These are a few of the many questions that need to be answered because there is currently no criminal investigation ongoing. The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled McNeil’s death a homicide, but the district attorney declined to charge any officers in connection with the death.
What We Can Do Now
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person, agency, or company, please seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Edward “Skip” Babbitt knows that this is a difficult time your you and your family and we want to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. This can include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of income and benefits of the deceased
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of companionship damages
- Punitive damages against the individual or agency responsible