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Attorney For Family Of Man Who Died In MTS Custody Says SDPD Officers Were Involved

Angel Zapata Hernandez is pinned to the ground by a MTS code compliance offic...

Credit: San Diego Metropolitan Transit System

Above: Angel Zapata Hernandez is pinned to the ground by a MTS code compliance officer and a private Transit System Security officer near the downtown Santa Fe Depot, Oct. 15, 2019.

The family of Angel Hernandez, who died while in Metropolitan Transit System's custody, is seeking justice against the San Diego Police Department for its alleged role in Angel's death.

While the case against the MTS has been settled, Hernandez's family plans to sue SDPD for its alleged inaction during the incident.

Eugene Iredale, attorney for the family, said two SDPD officers were called for assistance during the incident and both failed to assist Hernandez with emergency services in a timely manner.

“We intend to file a lawsuit against the two officers who are involved and if appropriate against the San Diego Police Department either for a failure to train, a failure to supervise, or ratification of the conduct of the officers involved,” Iredale said.

Reported by Alexandra Rangel

Hernandez died Oct. 15, 2019, died while handcuffed and restrained by an MTS code compliance officer and a private Transit System Security officer, one of whom knelt on his neck for more than six minutes.

The case was similar to that of George Floyd but no charges were filed against the two security officers. Both the MTS and TSS officers have since resigned, though MTS said its former employee's resignation was unrelated to the death.

MTS said it has since revised its use-of-force policies and security training.

SDPD has not released the police report on Hernandez’s case to the public and could not be reached for comment.

Iredale said he will be filing a request so the report is released.

Meanwhile, Iredale said the Hernandez family wants to ensure that what happened to their son does not happen to anyone else.

“They want to make sure this case involves complete justice, that all the actors responsible for Angel’s death should be held to account,” he said.

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Photo of Alexandra Rangel

Alexandra Rangel
Freelance Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a freelance reporter covering the latest news and issues surrounding the San Diego community. I’m always looking to shed light on issues that would otherwise go unreported.

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