Community activists call for DA recusal in Earl McNeil death cas - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Community activists call for DA recusal in Earl McNeil death case

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Earl McNeil, 40, died following a May 26 arrest by National City police Earl McNeil, 40, died following a May 26 arrest by National City police
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  • New details on Earl McNeil’s death following arrest by National City police

    New details on Earl McNeil’s death following arrest by National City police

    Monday, August 13 2018 8:12 PM EDT2018-08-14 00:12:06 GMT

    NATIONAL CITY, CA (NEWS 8) - A murder 30 years ago on 41st Street in southeastern San Diego was a defining moment in the life of Earl McNeil. News 8 archive footage from 1988 shows the scene where - at the age of 11 - McNeil witnessed his mother get shot in the head and killed in the street during a random drive-by shooting. 11-year-old Earl McNeil (1988 News 8 archive) One year later, the 12-year-old boy committed his first residential burglary, according to court recor...

     

    NATIONAL CITY, CA (NEWS 8) - A murder 30 years ago on 41st Street in southeastern San Diego was a defining moment in the life of Earl McNeil. News 8 archive footage from 1988 shows the scene where - at the age of 11 - McNeil witnessed his mother get shot in the head and killed in the street during a random drive-by shooting. 11-year-old Earl McNeil (1988 News 8 archive) One year later, the 12-year-old boy committed his first residential burglary, according to court recor...

     

NATIONAL CITY, CA (NEWS 8) -- Justice reform activists have sent a letter to District Attorney Summer Stephan, calling on her to recuse herself from the investigation into the death of Earl McNeil.

McNeil, 40, died in June following a confrontation with National City police officers.

During a news conference Wednesday on the steps of city hall in National City, activists said McNeil was a paid informant for the DA’s office in several cases.

That relationship creates a conflict of interest and the case should be handed off to the FBI, the activists said.

“A man is dead and the district attorney has recused herself from cases with far less implications. What is more important than a human life?” said attorney Monica Montgomery during the news conference.

They also want the DA to reopen past cases that Earl McNeil worked on.

“Mr. McNeil suffered from mental illness that caused delusions,” according to a news release from the group San Diegans for Criminal Justice Reform.

“The DA’s Office was fully aware of his mental health issues and his recantations of testimony that resulted in several serious felony convictions of several incarcerated persons over the years, yet continued to use him as a paid informant,” the news release said.

The District Attorney’s office issued a statement saying its office has “prioritized the review of the case” and that its review is being conducted in a “thorough and objective manner.”

The DA response said case information is being shared with the FBI’s Civil Rights Division and an opinion from the California Attorney General’s Office has been requested on whether there is a legal basis for recusal.

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