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Family receives $ 1.8 million after son dies while in custody
Christopher Eisinger died in March 2018 during a meeting with officers from the Anaheim Police Department. Officers were responding to a report of a car break-in when officers said Eisinger attempted to open the side door of a nearby residence, resulting in a lawsuit, according to a report from the Orange District Attorney’s Office.
Body camera footage from the evening shows several officers chasing Eisinger, before pinning him down as Eisinger struggles. In the footage, Eisinger can be heard saying “just shoot me” after an officer says “stop resisting”.

About five minutes after the video started, Eisinger went silent and then unresponsive, and officers called paramedics, according to the district attorney’s office. Paramedics arrived five minutes later and began CPR on Eisinger, whose pulse returned one minute after starting CPR, the report said.

Eisinger was admitted to West Anaheim Medical Center in critical condition and was later transferred to Hoag Hospital “due to his deteriorating condition,” the report said. Eisinger died on March 10, eight days after the incident.

Annee Della Donna, a lawyer representing Eisinger’s mother Katrina, told CNN that Eisinger had a history of mental illness and was seeking rehab for drug addiction.

An Anaheim jury on Thursday awarded $ 2,275,000 to Eisinger’s family, which will be reduced to around $ 1.8 million as the panel determined officers were 78% responsible for Eisinger’s death. said Della Donna.

The district attorney’s office had previously cleared the officers of the criminal misconduct, stating in its report that Eisinger “had died as a result of his decision to exert himself while suffering from enlarged and dilated heart, recent and chronic drug addiction, and a myriad of associated health problems. “

The district attorney’s report cited the Orange County coroner’s office determination that the cause of death was “sudden cardiac arrest” due to coronary heart disease and the effects of methamphetamine.

Della Donna, however, said officers pinned Eisinger to the ground face down, which made it difficult for him to breathe and ultimately led to his death, according to CNN affiliate KCAL.

“We are really excited about the verdict and very optimistic for the future of (police) accountability in this country,” Della Donna told CNN.

Anaheim City Disagrees With Jury Decision, Spokesman Mike Lyster said in a press release.

“Our officers responded to a resident’s call for help with an ongoing burglary. At all times, our officers acted responsibly in their duty to maintain public safety,” the statement said. “At no time did they use force that could be considered excessive given the difficult situation they were facing. Any loss of life is tragic. Sadly, this case is a testament to the devastating and undeniable impact methamphetamine has on individuals, families and communities.

In the statement, Lyster did not confirm whether the city would appeal the decision, but said city officials “will assess this outcome and consider next steps.”

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