An Alameda County sheriff’s lieutenant has been fired following an investigation into the death of a man arrested in Fremont in 2019 after his parents called police seeking care for him, a sheriff’s spokesman said Wednesday.
Lt. Craig Cedergren no longer works for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office following an investigation into the death on June 15, 2019, of Christian Madrigal, sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. J.D. Nelson said.
Civil rights attorney John Burris, who is representing the parents in a lawsuit against the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, said the decision to fire Cedergren was important.
“I’m glad to see it’s taken place.”
Burris said Madrigal’s parents called police on June 10 to get medical attention for their 20-year-old son, who was having a mental health crisis. His parents told police that Madrigal had recently been in a hospital to address his mental health and needed to return, Burris said.
Burris said police arrested him instead, for being under the influence of illegal drugs, and took him to Santa Rita Jail, where deputies ignored the request that he be seen by a mental health professional and taken to a mental health facility.
Cedergren allegedly had Madrigal chained to a cell door, in violation of the jail’s internal policies, Burris said.
Madrigal was left unattended for at least 10 minutes and was found trying to hang himself with the chains used to restrain him, Burris said.
He was taken to a nearby hospital, which referred him to a trauma center because his internal injuries were so severe, and he died at the trauma center, according to Burris.
Burris initially filed a civil rights claim – required before a lawsuit is filed – against Fremont police and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. But he did not name Fremont police in the lawsuit.
Burris alleged that Fremont police officers beat, choked and placed Madrigal in a full-body restraint before Madrigal was taken to Santa Rita Jail.
Police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said the city of Fremont maintains that its officers did not use excessive force when they arrested Madrigal.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley’s office did not respond Wednesday when asked whether she will file criminal charges against Cedergren.
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