The family of former NFL player Stanley Wilson Jr. believes he was beaten by law enforcement before he suddenly died inside a state mental health facility in Los Angeles County last month.
Wilson Jr.’s family brought legal claims against LA County Tuesday, one month after their loved one died at Metropolitan State Hospital following his transfer from county jail, according to a report.
Photos indicate the ex-Detroit Lions cornerback was a victim of excessive force by LA law enforcement before he died on Feb. 1 at the age of 40, his family’s attorney alleged during a news conference, TMZ Sports reported.
Photos of wounds to Wilson Jr.’s head appear to show he was either kicked or stomped while images of ligature marks on his wrist appear to indicate he was restrained during the alleged attack, lawyer John Carpenter reportedly said.
Wilson Jr’s grieving mother, Dr. D. Pulane Lucas said the county informed her that Wilson Jr. had collapsed and fallen out of a chair during intake at the mental hospital before he died.
She said at the news conference she wants to know if proper protocols were followed after his death and if he received any immediate help when he became in distress.
When asked by a reporter if the insinuation is he was beaten by law enforcement, Carpenter replied, “It appears from the way Stanley’s body was returned to his parents that he was in restraints at the time of his death,” according to footage from TMZ.
“You can tell from the ligature marks on his wrist that was the case and there were fresh wounds to his forehead, which appeared to be caused by a shoe and so that’s in stark contrast to what we’ve been told from the county regarding the circumstances of his death,” Carpenter continued.
The family is seeking more than $45 million in damages with Carpenter arguing in the court filings the county “has grossly misrepresented the cause and circumstances of Stanley Wilson Jr.’s death,” TMZ reported.
Carpenter reportedly said the family has yet to receive an autopsy report in the case.
Wilson Jr. was a third-round draft pick of the Lions in 2005 and geared up for two seasons before suffering a career-ending Achilles tear in a preseason game in 2008 against the New York Giants.
He faced legal troubles in the past dating back to 2016 including arrests tied to home invasions.
He was in custody this year after police charged him with vandalism last August.
He’s accused of breaking into a Hollywood Hills home where he allegedly took a bath in an outdoor fountain and raided the property, TMZ reported at the time.
It was later determined he was incompetent to stand trial which led to his transfer to the hospital.
Wilson played four seasons at Stanford University before he jumped to the NFL.
Lucas, Wilson Jr.’s mother, said her son was optimistic about his future even as he was in custody. She said mental illness led him to do shameful things.
“But he still believed that he could become a role model for those who were experiencing and who are experiencing similar situations,” she said during the news conference.
Wilson Jr. was the son of former Bengals running back Stanley Wilson Sr.