Phillip Garcia, 51

Riverside, California
March 24, 2017

Agencies: Riverside County Sheriff's Department California

Cause of death: Response to Medical Emergency

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Last updated: almost 4 years ago


Today, we are publishing a story and video about Phillip Garcia, a 51-year-old man who died in the custody of the sheriff’s department in Riverside County, California. We have attached a note to the video warning that viewers may find the content disturbing. We did, and we want to be transparent about why we have chosen to share this material with the public at this time.

Garcia was taken to the Larry Smith Correctional Facility, the largest of Riverside County’s five jails, on the morning of March 22, 2017, after neighbors reported that he was screaming obscenities and racing around his backyard. His 87-year-old roommate told police that he had been attacked by Garcia, who the roommate said had been up all night “rambling, making no sense.” A police report said Garcia banged his head against the Plexiglas barrier in the patrol car as he was taken to the jail. Deputies were unable to complete the intake and shoved him in a “sobering cell” where he showed clear signs he was in a psychiatric crisis.

Less than two days later, Garcia was dead.