Daniel Boscon – Sandoval County Detention Center (jail death) — 3-28-2014

Victim: Daniel Boscon, 46

Suspect: Bernalillo Police Officer Jeff McGinnis

Suspect: Bernalillo Police Sgt. Darrell Sanchez

Accused Agency: Bernalillo Police Department/Town of Bernalillo

Accused Agency: Sandoval County Detention Center

Date of incident: March 28, 2014

Location: Sandoval County Detention Center

Allegation: Denied medical care

Cause of death: Waiting on OMI report

Manner of death: Waiting on OMI report

Status: Settled

Settlement, Sandoval County: IPRA pending

Settlement, town of Bernalillo: IPRA pending

Investigating Agency: Unknown

District case: D-1329-CV-201501602

Detention case: M-45-MR-201400246

Plaintiff attorney: Rachel Higgins

 

Summary

On March 28, 2014, Daniel Boscon, 46,  Bernalillo Police Officer Jeff McGinnis arrested Daniel Boscon for being disorderly. Despite his pleas for medical attention for dizziness and the laceration on his head, he was brought to the Sandoval County Detention Center where he died 30 minutes after being placed in a cell, according to a lawsuit.

The case settled in June 2017.

The incident

On March 28, 2014, Bernalillo Police Officer Jeff McGinnis arrested Daniel Boscon after reports that he was “acting in a disorderly fashion,” attorney Rachel Higgins  wrote in a first amended complaint for wrongful death filed Oct. 26, 2015.

Boscon’s estate was represented by Leon Howard, an attorney.

McGinnis handcuffed Boscon and placed him in the back of a police car. During the drive, Boscon “begged” McGinnis to take him to the hospital and said he was dizzy and had a cut on his head, Higgins wrote.

“There was no doubt that Decedent had injured his head–Defendant McGinnis could clearly see that Decedent’s head was bleeding, and had witnessed Decedent bang his head on the partition cage in Defendant McGinnis’ car,” Higgins wrote.

McGinnis told his supervisor, Sgt. Darrell Sanchez, that Boscon was bleeding and wanted to go to the hospital. Sanchez told McGinnis to take him to the Sandoval County Detention Center and “see what happens,” she wrote.

Sandoval County Detention Center

McGinnis tried to remove Boscon from the car without waiting for jail personnel to open the sally port, “contrary to known safety protocols,” she wrote.

Three unnamed Bernalillo Police Department officers then arrived at the jail and helped McGinnis try to pull Boscon out of the car with “significant force,” Higgins wrote.

One unidentified officer tried to remove Boscon by “using all of his body weight” against him and when that didn’t work, another tried to push push him out “using a great amount of force with with his body,” she wrote.

That struggle ended with officers pulling Boscon out of the rear passenger door, “after which Decedent fell face down onto the ground,” she wrote.

As he lay on the ground, multiple Bernalillo officers held him face down and handcuffed for two minutes and shackled his legs.

He was then taken to the booking area where he struggled. McGinnis accompanied him and did not tell jail staff that Boscon had complained about dizziness or that he had injured his head.

In apparent surveillance footage, McGinnis follows Boscon into the shower area after he was led away from booking and during the booking process he can be seen using a cell phone. He refused to hand over documents related to the cell phone, including its number, citing ongoing investigations, Higgins wrote in a motion to compel.

“Decedent again requested that he be given medical attention, this time, also, to SCDC personnel,” Higgins wrote in the complaint.

Jail staff did not give him any medical attention and staff did not conduct an “adequate” screening. He was then “placed in restraints”, booked, and placed in a cell with a window in the door, she wrote.

“Decedent was discovered unconscious by SCDC personnel 30 minutes after he was placed into the cell,” Higgins wrote.

The jail’s policy is to refuse to book anyone who arrives “in the midst of medical emergencies” and if he had told jail staff that Boscon said he had been feeling dizzy and had an injured head, they would have refused to book him, she wrote.

Higgins charged negligence by the police officers an the jail staff, battery by McGinnis and the three unnamed Bernalillo Police officers and failure to train and supervise both the officers and jail staff.

Settlement

The Town of Bernalillo and Sandoval County both settled in June 2017, for a total of $346,581.

According to a lawsuit filed by the Human Rights Defense Center, Sandoval County settled claims against them for $256,581.54. A request for that settlement agreement is pending.

The Town of Bernalillo settled the claims for $90,000, according to a claims release.

Daniel Boscon

According to his obituary, Boscon was born in Long Beach, Calif. and he was a musician who played guitar.

“Daniel liked geology, panning for gold and was a jack-of-all-trades,” according to his obituary.

He is survived by his mother, his son and his sister.

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