National City Police meet with family of man who died after being in custody

Posted at 2:05 PM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-25 02:24:21-04

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (KGTV) - The National City Police Department issued an update Tuesday on the investigation regarding a man who died in police custody.

Officials from the NCPD and San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office met Monday with the family of Earl McNeil to provide a timeline of his hours in custody.

McNeil, 40, was taken into police custody on May 26. His relatives told 10News the family got a call saying McNeil 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.

RELATED: Family seeks answers from National City Police for loved one's death

The family turned off McNeil’s life support in June. He was pronounced dead at UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest.

National City Police said McNeil had gone to the police station in May and was making paranoid, threatening and irrational statements. Police said he was agitated and told them he was in possession of a controlled substance.

Police officials said McNeil was responsive - yelling, talking and alert - the entire time he was in custody. He stopped breathing in the back of an ambulance as it was parked in the County Jail area, police said.

RELATED: Protesters storm National City council meeting, demand police chief resign over man's death

During the meeting with police, the McNeil family heard an audio recording of McNeil speaking to dispatchers on the after-hours phone at the police station. The medical examiner also provided the preliminary findings of the investigation, which have not been released to the public. The office is expected to release its full report mid-August.

Later Tuesday night, several protesters were arrested for disturbing a city council meeting, shouting "who killed Earl McNeil."

A short time later, deputies were seen outside the meeting in riot gear.