The daughter of Jacobo Juarez Cedillo, 50, is suing the city of Los Angeles in federal court, alleging her father was subjected to excessive force in violation of his constitutional rights. The lawsuit was filed in October 2020.
On April 8, 2019 at 4:15 a.m., Cedillo was sitting on the sidewalk of gas station in Van Nuys. Police got a 911 call about Cedillo on the ground at the gas station.
Los Angeles police responded to the scene and immediately put Cedillo in handcuffs even though he had not broken the law. Hence, violating his Fourth Amendment Constitutional Right granted by the United States Constitution.
Cedillo tells officers that he is waiting for the bus and is not feeling well, ABC 7 News reports. Officers attempt to go through Cedillo’s pockets and a brief struggle happens. It was then that officers threw Cedillo to the ground. Cedillo almost immediately lost consciousness and lay motionless on the hard asphalt.
Paramedics treated Cedillo at the scene and then transported him to a nearby hospital. Cedillo died at the hospital five days later from cardiopulmonary arrest, loss of blood flow to the brain, and effects of methamphetamine.
The LAPD says a preliminary test at the hospital indicated the presence of methamphetamine in Cedillo’s system.
The lawsuit alleges that the officers restricted Cedillo’s breathing by throwing him to the ground and putting their body weight on him. George Floyd’s breathing was restricted in a similar take down arrest, as an officer put full body weight on Floyd’s neck, killing him.
According to the lawsuit, it is well known throughout law enforcement and medical professionals that holding a subject in a prone position restraint can be deadly. The lawsuit goes on to say that compressing an arrestee in a prone position with a police officer’s weight on his or her back, and/or upper torso, restricts the ability to breathe and blood flow to the brain, and can result in anoxic encephalopathy, which is a process that begins with the cessation of cerebral blood flow to brain tissue, like in this case.
The Los Angeles medical examiner wrote:
There is a temporal relationship between the cardiopulmonary arrest after prone physical restraint by law enforcement and the decedent was reported to become unresponsive after placement on the gurney. A component of asphyxia due to possible compression of the body may be contributory to the cardiopulmonary arrest, however there are no findings at autopsy that establish asphyxia.
The LAPD says that Cedillo had prior arrests for assault with a deadly weapon, exhibiting a deadly weapon, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. None of the officers were found in violation of any wrong doing by the LAPD internal affairs unit.
Read the lawsuit here.