A 2 MILE TRIP TO THE HOSPITAL THAT TOOK 90 MINUTES. BLACK MAN COMMITTED NO CRIME BUT UNDER NON-CONSENSUAL DETENTION & RESTRAINT. From [HERE] Video released as part of a federal wrongful death suit shows the last moments of the life of a 42-year-old Black father who died after a confrontation with white Hayward police after his family had called 911 for a mental health transport to the hospital.
2 Investigates obtained four clips of video showing various angles from the morning of Dec. 19, 2015 where Roy Lee Nelson Jr. took his last breaths in the parking lot of Chabot College in Hayward. Nelson Jr. was suffering from schizophrenia and wanted help, the lawsuit states. Nelson Jr. died after telling officers that he couldn’t breathe.
The fact that Nelson Jr. died in police custody is not in dispute. How and why he died -- and who or what is responsible -- is. But Nelson Jr.’s family is now also questioning the role that police tactics played leading up to his death: how did a call for medical help turn fatal?
His son thinks he knows the answer.
“It’s because he was black,” Nelson III said. “He and my mother called for help. And they basically saw him as a criminal and they treated him as they treat any other African-American.”
According to the complaint,
‘This case arises out of the December 19, 2015 wrongful death of Roy Nelson, who died in the custody of yet-to-be identified City of Hayward Police Department officers, after Mr. Nelson summoned emergency medical care during a mental health crisis.
Shortly after Mr. Nelson contacted 911 for himself, yet-to-be-identified City of Hayward Police officers arrived at the home of Mr. Nelson’s ex wife.
For unknown reasons, the officers did not wait for an ambulance to transport Mr. Nelson for mental health evaluation but instead handcuffed him and placed him into the backseat of a patrol car. Mr. Nelson’s relatives watched him voluntary leave the home in handcuffs, fully compliant with officers.
While on the 1.7 mile drive to St. Rose hospital in Hayward, the Officers turned into a secluded parking lot, despite being barely a mile away from the hospital. Without cause, the unidentified officers purportedly pulled Mr. Nelson out of the patrol car and placed the large man in a WRAP restraint device, which they later claim was due to Mr. Nelson trying to kick out the back window.
Mr. Nelson purportedly became unresponsive as a result of the officers’ unnecessary use of the restraint device and the excessive amount of force that was used to place Decedent in the restraint. At 3:10 a.m., more than 90 minutes after Mr. Nelson was taken away in handcuffs, he was admitted to St. Rose Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The Nelson family has been continually denied answers regarding Mr. Nelson’s death and why it took 90 or more minutes to travel the 1.7 miles to the hospital.’
“This is the West Coast Eric Garner case,” Nelson’s civil rights attorney, Adante Pointer of the John Burris Law Firm, told 2 Investigates, referring to the man selling loose cigarettes who died in a New York City police chokehold in 2014. “Mr. Nelson literally said I cannot breathe. And the officer ignored his pleas. This was a man who was experiencing a medical emergency and he was treated as a criminal suspect. Just because you have a mental health issue, just because you have used some narcotics doesn't give police the right to kill you.”
The Alameda County Coroner [white] found that Nelson Jr. died accidentally, a result of cardiac arrhythmia along with acute methamphetamine and amphetamine intoxication associated with physical exertion.
“I want justice,” his son, Roy Lee Nelson III, told 2 investigates in a recent interview. “I don’t want my dad to be thought of as how they’re trying to portray him. I want them to tell the truth.”
The city of Hayward declined to comment on the allegations citing pending litigation, city spokesman Chuck Finnie said.
Though the District Attorney did not conduct a formal review of the officers’ behavior, the officers involved in the case -- Michelle Hall, Nathanael Shannon, Matthew McCrea and John Padavana -- were cleared of wrongdoing by the department’s Internal Affairs investigators, according to Pointer.
Hayward has been fighting this lawsuit for the last three years, arguing that the officers acted reasonably given the circumstances. In court earlier this year, Hayward’s former deputy city attorney, Ray Rollan, argued that while Nelson Jr. was initially not considered a criminal, his behavior of “kicking the patrol car three times” in the parking lot of the college “necessitated” him being restrained in what is called a WRAP device. He argued that the police behavior was well within policy.
But in April, Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim ruled that the excessive force claims against the city and department can proceed to trial.
"I just cannot imagine a juror in this country saying after a person says he can't breathe and an officer knows Mr. Nelson is unconscious and then waits for a minute and 20 seconds and finding that appropriate…I just find that impossible to believe,” Kim told the lawyers at a summary judgement hearing. “I find it very, very difficult to believe that any juror, anywhere, is going to find Officer Shannon not liable for a violation of Fourth Amendment rights under these set of circumstances.”
It’s common practice, the lawsuit contends, for police officers to summon paramedics to transport “5150” psychiatric patients. But “for unknown reasons,” the suit states, police did not wait for an ambulance and instead drove Nelson Jr. to the college parking lot. Pointer said Nelson Jr. was there for about 20 to 30 minutes waiting for paramedics to pick him up.
The video clips show the spot at Chabot College Parking Lot G where police had stopped to wait. Officers can be heard talking about waiting for a medical transport for Nelson, and it sounds as if at least two ambulances were called, but didn’t come immediately. In testimony, Hayward’s former deputy city attorney noted that the Paramedics Plus ambulance was late in arriving.
At this point, Nelson seems to suffer from what appears to a panic attack in the back of the patrol car. His face was distraught. His sweatshirt was drenched in sweat. The video shows that he was kicking the back of the gated area from the back seat. He reached one hand out of the partially open patrol car window, stretching his fingers outward.
“Open the door,” Nelson is heard asking. “Open the door, please. “ [clearly he no longer consented to his detention. elite white media avoids 4th Amendment issues altogether by just ignoring them entirely, especially in regard to non-white people. contrast w/ media coverage of 1st Amendment issues and white folks]
Through the window of the car, an officer points his finger at Nelson and says, “I told you not to kick.” Another officer tells him to stop waggling his fingers. “Will you let me out?” Nelson asked.
“When the ambulance gets here,” the officer answered.
But Nelson Jr. didn’t want to be in the back of the car any longer. He was not under arrest and had committed no crime. He consented to the initial custody - but clearly he revoked his consent at the secluded parking lot and extended detention in the small back seat of the patrol car.