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Family Settles Wrongful Death Case Against City of Upland Police Department for $750,000

Upland, CA – The family of a man whose suicide they say resulted from extremely negligent policing settled with the City of Upland Police Department for $750,000.

In 2017, Jeriel Herring was just 36 years old on the night he took his own life. He was spotted acting erratically outside of a residence in Upland, CA, just one block from his own home. Residents contacted law enforcement and when an officer approached Jeriel, Jeriel made statements such as “I am a sinner,” “It’s the end of the road for me,” and “It’s my time to go” which obviously point to potential self-harm.

Jeriel was taken into custody and transported to San Bernardino County West Valley Detention Center for booking. After being checked by a nurse, the nurse told officers that Jeriel was not acting right and had previously lost consciousness; the nurse at West Valley Detention Center refused to allow Jeriel into the facility claiming he first needed to be taken to a local hospital for medical evaluation and to be medically cleared. Even though he was making dangerous statements and clearly required help, instead of taking Jeriel to the hospital as instructed by the nurse at the Detention Center, the officer took Jeriel to a roadway just outside the Detention Center from the booking area and released him into the middle of darkness, leaving a man with obvious mental health issues to his own devices.

Within just minutes of his release, Jeriel was in the middle of the street, stopping traffic, and banging on car hoods. He then ran across two lanes of traffic into an oncoming truck where he was struck and killed, committing suicide. His family brought the lawsuit claiming the negligence of the officers and of the City of Upland’s institutions caused the death of their son.

Police made no effort to contact Jeriel’s family or take him to a safe location such as his home address. The arresting officer also failed to take Jeriel to the hospital to be medically evaluated, despite being specifically instructed to do so by the nursing staff at West Valley Detention Center. During depositions of other officers in the case, each officer testified that never, in their entire career, had they been instructed to get an arrestee medically cleared and failed to do so.

“While we are all grateful this is put behind us, Jeriel’s family will never be the same and no amount of money can ever bring him back,” said attorney Justin King, founder of The Law Office of Justin H. King. “Had the officer handling the situation just done his duty, Jeriel would still be alive. But now, his family will never be made whole and his life is but a memory.”

Mr. King brought a wrongful death lawsuit against The City of Upland and the officers who were called in to handle the situation citing the officer’s failure to protect as well as state created danger, both of which resulted in this tragic death.

About the Law Offices of Justin H. King

If you or someone you know has been in an accident that resulted in injuries, you should consult with the attorneys at The Law Offices of Justin H. King. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you establish the facts of the accident, determine liability in your case, negotiate a favorable settlement and if necessary, zealously represent your interests at trial. Do not go it alone in your pedestrian personal injury claim.

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