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HSR Attorneys Negotiate a $1.9 Million Settlement on Behalf of the Family of Jonathan Salcido, a Mentally Ill Young Man Killed by Whittier Police

By Lisa Keller of Hadsell Stormer & Renick LLP posted in police misconduct on Saturday, June 8, 2019.

The case, filed in federal court, was settled June 5, 2019, prior to beginning trial.

"This horrible incident should never have happened," said HSR partner Dan Stormer. "It was simply police malfeasance that caused Jonathan's death. The force used against him by the officers here was not only cruel and excessive-it was unnecessary. And sadly, it is not uncommon. A quarter of people killed by police struggle with mental illness. The Whittier Police Department must do better in training its officers how to deal with individuals with mental illnesses."

Jonathan was killed May 4, 2017, as his mother Jasmine Salcido looked on helplessly. She had called 9-1-1 for help getting her compromised son to the hospital. When police arrived, they knocked Salcido --who was unarmed -- to the ground, retrained him, handcuffed him and piled on top of him. In doing so, they crushed him and suffocated him to death.

"Jonathan's mother called 9-1-1 because she was concerned for her son's safety and needed help getting him to the hospital," said HSR attorney Josh Nuni. "Then she had to watch as the officers sent to help suffocated her son to death right before her eyes. This was a heartbreaking loss of an unarmed young man experiencing a mental health crisis. It's a complete tragedy. Jonathan should be alive today."

Jonathan's father Gary Salcido said, "This was never about the money for us...This was about justice for Jonathan. We thought there was going to be more justice and accountability from a criminal point of view, but that didn't happen because of the D.A.'s decision not to prosecute, which we were disappointed with. We hope that through this case, though, we've brought awareness to this issue so that people understand that the police officers-when it comes to mental health-they're not fully trained. And until they are, there are going to continue to be similar deaths."

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