HomeSportsNFLFamily Claims Former NFL Player Was Beaten By Law Enforcement Before Death

Family Claims Former NFL Player Was Beaten By Law Enforcement Before Death

by Suzanne Halliburton
stanley wilson
Detroit Lions

The family of former NFL player Stanley Wilson Jr. filed a lawsuit this week against Los Angeles County, alleging that excessive force was a factor in his death.

Wilson died on Feb. 1 while in custody at a Los Angeles County mental health facility. Wilson used to play cornerback for the Detroit Lions. Police arrested him last August and charged him with vandalism. Police alleged Wilson had twice broken into a Hollywood Hills mansion. And police said he vandalized the home and took a bath in an outdoor fountain. The cops said they found him using the soap he’d found inside to take the outdoor bath.

LAPD arrested Wilson and charged him with two felony counts of vandalism along with second-degree burglary. Damages were estimated at $5,000. Police said they could find no connections between the ex-NFL player and the owner of the home. A judge declared the former NFL player as incompetent to stand trial. So he went from county jail to a mental health hospital. While there, police say he collapsed, fell out of a chair, hit his head and died. 

Former NFL Player Possibly Was Suffering Symptoms of CTE

TMZ reported that Wilson had been arrested two other times. The first two incidents happened in Portland. In one, Wilson wasn’t wearing any clothing when he broke into a home in 2016. He was shot in the stomach as he attempted a break-in. A year later, police found him walking naked around a neighborhood.

The 40-year-old was a former Stanford star. The Lions drafted him in the third round of the 2005 NFL draft. The son of former NFL player Stanley Wilson Sr. was in the league for two seasons.

An attorney representing the Wilson family filed three lawsuits against Los Angeles County this week. Two were on behalf of his parents. The third represented the Wilson estate. All total, the family is asking for at least $45 million in damages.

The family says Wilson may have been suffering from symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease.

The lawsuit alleges that photos taken of the former NFL player showed evidence of excessive force. John Carpenter, the family’s attorney, said Wilson had abrasions on his head that came from being kicked or stomped. Carpenter also said that markings on his wrist indicated he was in handcuffs when he died.

“The County has grossly misrepresented the cause and circumstances of Stanley Wilson Jr.’s death,” Carpenter wrote in the court filings.