Justice for Mentally Ill Man With Medical Condition Who Died in Police Custody

Jail cell - Kango Traveler

Target: Sheriff Chad Bianco, Riverside County, California

Goal: Fire and charge deputies allegedly responsible for the death of a man in the middle of a mental health crisis.

Phillip Garcia, a 51-year-old man experiencing a severe mental health crisis, died in police custody after sheriff’s deputies apparently used excessive force to restrain him and did not allow medical staff to monitor his vitals. The sheriff’s department withheld records of the circumstances leading to Garcia’s death, but video footage was recently released that appears to show the appalling mistreatment of this mentally ill man that led to his death.

Garcia had been admitted to a hospital because of his mental state, but he was diagnosed there with rhabdomyolysis, a potentially fatal condition that causes skeletal muscles to break down. In spite of this, he was apparently restrained with no medical care or monitoring for hours, and deputies allegedly shoved and struck Garcia even while he was tied down. Sign below to demand that the sheriff’s department fire and charge with crimes the deputies who allegedly used excessive force on this man suffering from psychiatric and medical conditions.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Sheriff Bianco,

Phillip Garcia was in desperate need of both mental and physical help when he was admitted to the hospital under the care of your deputies. Video and other records show that eight officers used what seems to be excessive force to move the 51-year-old man from a gurney to a hospital bed, even apparently shoving him and twisting his neck while he was tied down. Despite diagnosis of a potentially fatal medical condition, he apparently received no medical care or monitoring.

As public servants charged with protecting the community, your officers failed Garcia and his family by using unnecessary force on an already physically and mentally compromised man — force which may have been the cause of his death. I demand that you fire the deputies who allegedly engaged in this dangerous and unconscionable behavior and bring criminal charges against them.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Kango Traveler




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