Former NFL Player Stanley Wilson Jr. May Have Died from Excessive Force, Family Claims in Lawsuit
Relatives of former NFL player Stanley Wilson Jr. have launched a lawsuit weeks after his death at a Los Angeles County mental health facility.
According to ABC affiliate KABC, the family and their attorney, John Carpenter, announced the filing against Los Angeles County during a press conference in Beverly Hills on Tuesday.
During the conference, Fox News reports, Carpenter claimed that photos of Wilson Jr.'s body reveal he may have been a victim of excessive force before he died at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility on Feb. 1.
"There were fresh wounds to his forehead, which appear to have been caused by a shoe," Carpenter said, per KABC.
Additionally, marks on Wilson Jr.'s wrists show he may have been in handcuffs at the time, Carpenter said, as noted by TMZ Sports.
PEOPLE reached out to Los Angeles County representatives for comment on Wednesday.
The former Detroit Lions player was arrested for trespassing in August 2022, an event that Carpenter said may have been influenced by symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that has been found in hundreds of NFL players after their deaths.
"Due to his mental illness, the county found him not able to stand trial, not able to provide assistance to counsel, and so they put him in the [Twin Towers Correctional Facility] since August of 2022," Carpenter said, per KABC.
As noted by TMZ Sports, Wilson Jr.'s mother said officials previously told her that her son had fallen out of a chair during the intake process before he died.
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According to the New York Post, the family is seeking $45 million in damages.
Wilson Jr.'s father, Stanley Wilson Sr., who is also a former NFL player, said that the family simply wants the truth.
"It hurts really bad to bury your child," he said, per KABC.
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The family described Wilson Jr. as a humble, fun and loving person. They said he suddenly became less social, withdrawn, anxious, and depressed, which may have also been symptoms of CTE.
In a statement to KABC, representatives for Los Angeles County said they offer their "sincere condolences to Mr. Wilson's family."
They added: "However, we cannot comment on this pending litigation at this time."