Former Lions DB Stanley Wilson Jr.’s Family Believes He Had CTE and Police Brutality Caused His Death | $45M Claim Filed After Finding ‘Ligature Marks’ On His Wrists And ‘Fresh’ Head Wounds

The family of an former NFL player is claiming that his death while in the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was due to deputies’ brutality and that he didn’t just collapse and die while in custody before being admitted to a mental hospital. On March 14 his parents went public with those claims with the announcement of a $45 million lawsuit against the county. 

Stanley Wilson Jr., a cornerback for the Detroit Lions from 2005-2007 who was jailed on trespassing charges in August, died on Feb. 1 as he was due to be transferred to the Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk for treatment of his chronic mental illness. 

Did Police Kill Ex-NFL Player Stanley Wilson Jr.?

Per the Los Angeles Times, the family blames Wilson’s cause of death on “excessive force” and “deliberate indifference”

According to his parents, they found “ligature marks” on his wrist, and “fresh wounds” on his head that may have been “caused by a shoe.” Those marks are referenced in the claim that Wilson’s family is making. 

According to TMZ, the claim is being split into three, one by Wilson’s mother, another by his father, and his estate. Wilson’s father, Stanley Wilson Sr. was an NFL running back, who played for the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Los Angeles Times reports an official cause of death hasn’t been made public yet, but according to the claim the county “grossly misrepresented the cause and circumstances” of Wilson’s death.

“The county failed to implement and maintain proper procedures to engage mentally disabled individuals, including Stanley Wilson Jr.,” the claim said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Stanley Wilson Jr. Has History Of Mental Health Problems

The 40-year-old Wilson had a string of run-ins connected with attempted break-ins and trespassing dating back several years after he began his downward spiral. 

After the August arrest, Wilson wasn’t deemed competent to stand trial, which led to an order to transfer him from county jail to Metropolitan State Hospital where he would be treated, but he died before he could get this treatment.

The Stanford University product’s star was once bright. Wilson Jr. was a star in college from 2001 to 2004. He came back and graduated in 2014.

In June 2016, Wilson was shot in the abdomen while trying to break in a home in Portland, while he was naked. In 2017, Wilson was arrested again for allegedly walking around a neighborhood naked.

In the next month, Wilson was sentenced to 10 days in jail for the incident in 2016, in Portland, and he received three years’ probation, and mandatory drug treatment. He also was ordered to pay restitution damages to the mansion and write an apology letter to the victims involved. 

Did Stanley Wilson Jr. Have CTE?

Wilson Jr. dealt with a lot of traumatic head injuries as a result of his football career, according to the lawsuit, and his family says that he showed a lot of symptoms of the traumatic brain degeneration CTE, which many say could account for the erratic behavior and the trouble he’d repeatedly get into.

Family attorney John Carpenter said this week, “That’s how we treat our people with mental illness, we incarcerate them or we let them live on the streets without any support,” calling Wilson’s a particularly tragic story. “He had all the promise in the world, and he ended up like this.”

The recent tragedy that happened to Wilson, is just another potential example of the dangers of CTE and the lasting effects it can not only have on an individual but their family as well. 

He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the third round in 2005. He played from 2005 to 2007, before retiring early at the age of 25 due to a torn Achilles tendon. 

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