Family seeks answers from National City police for loved one's death

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jun 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-07 20:44:07-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego family is seeking answers from National City Police after one of their loved ones wound up in the hospital with fatal injuries. 

Earl McNeil's family will turn off his life support Thursday, at UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest. 

Earl McNeil's cousin, Makisha, says the family still is unclear about what happened after National City Police took him into custody on May 26. 

She says her family got a call saying Earl was in the hospital after having a heart attack, but when they arrived he had bruises all over his forehead, his teeth missing, and scars all over his face.

"We're stressed out, we want to know what's wrong, what happened?" Makisha McNeil said.

Makisha said the family has struggled to get answers out of National City police, with answers only coming piecemeal, such as through conversations with officers. 

"He asked me, did my cousin have HIV or any diseases? Because he spat on one of the officers, and they were very upset about it," she said. 

Earl McNeil, 40, who suffered from mental illness, came to the police station on the morning of May 26 seeking help of some kind. 

National City Police say when McNeil came to the station he was making paranoid, threatening and irrational statements. Police say he was agitated and told them he was in possession of a controlled substance. 

McNeil was arrested and placed in what's called a WRAP restraining device to de-escalate the situation. 

"McNeil was transported to County Jail for processing," the National City police statement said. "During the intake process with county jail staff, McNeil exhibited signs of medical distress and NCPD officers called for paramedics."

McNeil was then taken to UC San Diego medical center, where his family says he suffered brain and nerve damage, and will be taken off life support.

They are also calling for an FBI Civil Rights investigation.