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Family of mentally ill man killed by California police receives $6 million settlement

Jacob Bauer passed away in 2018 after a violent altercation with multiple cops.

Caution tape Getty Images

The family of a mentally ill man who died at the hands of Pleasanton police will receive a $6 million settlement. As ABC reported, the gesture from the Bay Area city puts an end to a lawsuit recently filed by Jacob Bauer’s family.

On Aug. 1, 2018, Bauer was confronted by officers responding to calls about a man talking to himself, breaking bottles and exhibiting erratic behavior inside a local grocery store. He initially cooperated with the cops and responded to their questions, but moments later, he stopped and gave them a blank stare. Per the suit, he was suddenly placed in handcuffs, tackled, tased and punched while laying in a prone position.

During the struggle, about eight cops allegedly piled on top of Bauer and put in him a full-body wrap and spit mask, prompting him to complain about his inability to breathe. He fell unconscious, and paramedics were called to the scene. According to a coroner’s report, emergency responders gave him a sedative but were unable to access him for eight minutes afterward. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

In June 2019, Bauer’s parents, John and Rose Bauer, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Pleasanton and police officials, who they accused of violating their son’s constitutional rights. Nearly two years later, they’ve agreed to dismiss the suit against the city in exchange for $6 million.

The settlement, per reports, permanently closes the civil case and prohibits the Bauers from reintroducing similar litigation. It includes a listening session between them and Pleasanton Police Chief David Swing, who made it clear that the act “shall not constitute or be construed as an admission of liability or fault by (the) defendants or any of the employees of the city of Pleasanton.” He added that the involved officers, who have been cleared of wrongdoing, continue to deny all allegations against them.

Prior to Bauer’s death, his parents had reportedly met with officers on several occasions with concerns that their mentally ill son would be killed by Pleasanton police. They want to continue the conversations in hopes to address officers’ treatment of those suffering from mental health issues.

“No parent should ever have to live with the visions of the violent death of their child,” Rose said in a statement. “Jacob lost his life over a few broken bottles at a grocery store. I hope this settlement creates real changes to stop police from using excessive force against the mentally ill.”

“An important part of this settlement is our ability to meet directly with the Pleasanton Chief of Police to discuss and see implemented critically needed policy changes which help support the mentally ill when they encounter PPD,” added John.

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