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National City Police Department
Wednesday June 13th, 2018 :: 12:51 p.m. PDT


Press release on Mr. McNeil update

DATE / TIME: June 13, 2018

TYPE OF INCIDENT: Update on Mr. Earl McNeil

LOCATION: National City, Calif.


On Saturday, May 26, 2018, at 5:27 am, Earl L. McNeil came to the National City Police Department and used the telephone in front of the station to contact dispatchers. Mr. McNeil told the dispatcher that he had a warrant, was high, and wanted to kill Jesus. Mr. McNeil then hung up the phone. As a result of the phone call, officers met with Mr. McNeil in front of the station. Mr. McNeil was agitated, made irrational statements, and acted paranoid.

While being arrested for suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance, Mr. McNeil became combative, and continued to be agitated and acted paranoid. As a result officers used restraining force to place Mr. McNeil in a WRAP device, designed by Safe Restraints, Inc. The WRAP is a commonly used safe restraint system to achieve de-escalation. . It was specifically designed to not hamper a person’s ability to breathe. During the arrest, Mr. McNeil was found to be in possession of a controlled substance. Mr. McNeil was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance, obstruct/resisting officers, and post-release community supervision violation.

Mr. McNeil was transported to County Jail for processing. During the transport, Mr. McNeil was intentionally hurting himself. During the intake process with county jail staff, Mr. McNeil continued to exhibit signs of agitation and paranoia and began to display signs of medical distress. National City Police Officers called for paramedics. Mr. McNeil was conscious and continued to interact with staff when paramedics arrived. A short time later, while paramedics were attending to Mr. McNeil he stopped breathing. Paramedics provided immediate medical care and resuscitated Mr. McNeil before transporting him to UCSD Medical Center.

Upon admission to the hospital, National City Police Supervisors were able to contact an out of state family member to inform them of Mr. McNeil’s hospitalization.

Additionally, police officials met with a second family member on May 30, 2018 at the police department. Chief Manuel Rodriguez, has also offered to meet with the family at their convenience. The McNeil family has chosen not to meet with the Police Chief without the presence of their attorney.

On Monday, June 11, 2018, Mr. McNeil was removed from life support and subsequently passed away. The National City Police Department offers our condolences to his family and friends.

As part of the established San Diego County Law Enforcement protocol, the County Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting an autopsy and investigation. It is our hope that we can learn more information on the circumstances that led to Mr. McNeil’s death.

“People want to know what happened to Mr. McNeil, and so do we”, said Chief Rodriguez. “I am hopeful the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s report will provide the answers to what happened to Mr. McNeil’s medical condition. Accountability and transparency are important to the National City Police Department and our community, but that can only happen when the system is allowed to work. Per protocol the police department is conducting an investigation and review of this incident, as is the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and U.S. Department of Justice.”

Chief Rodriguez added “Our residents and elected leaders established the Community Police Relations Commission (CPRC) to increase transparency between the police department and the community. The National City CPRC is one of three such entities that review police internal investigations in the county.”

The National City Police Department will continue to review the policies and procedures related to this investigation to ensure all processes and protocols were followed.

The National City Police Department will continue our mission to help, protect, and serve the community.

Contact Person(s):
Alejandro Hernandez, Acting Captain

Chris Sullivan, Sergeant

National City Police Department
1200 National City Boulevard
National City, CA 91950

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 619-336-4400

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