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Who Was Earl McNeil?

A sign with a photo of Earl McNeil is shown during a National City council me...

Photo by Kris Arciaga

Above: A sign with a photo of Earl McNeil is shown during a National City council meeting, July 17, 2018.

Who Was Earl McNeil?


Max Rivlin-Nadler, reporter, The Appeal


A new investigative report paints a more detailed portrait of the 40-year-old African-American man who died last month after he stopped breathing while in the custody of National City Police. Police say he was resuscitated.

McNeil long struggled with mental illness and often called on local police and emergency responders to help when he was feeling distressed, according to The Appeal, a national news organization that covers criminal justice issues.

For years, reporter Max Rivlin-Nadler wrote, McNeil also served as a jailhouse informant for the San Diego County District Attorney's office.

RELATED: Protesters Call For Resignation Of National City Police Chief In Connection To Death Of Earl McNeil

The case has led to a series of heated city council meetings this week. Community members are calling for the release of police camera footage and the resignation of National City Police Chief Manuel Rodriguez.

Rivlin-Nadler discusses McNeil's ties to law enforcement Thursday on Midday Edition.

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