Ron Reginald Settles, 21

Signal Hill, California
June 02, 1981

Agencies: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department California LASD | Signal Hill Police Department California

Cause of death: Beating

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Last updated: almost 6 years ago


Ron Settles was a Long Beach State College football player who was arrested by the Signal Hill Police Department. The morning after his arrest, he was found severely beaten and hanging in his jail cell. A huge furor erupted afterwards over the suspicious nature of his death. The police said he committed suicide, but this story was very weak. The Los Angeles District Attorney filed charges against them, with the Signal Hill Police officers eventually taking the fifth ammendment so as to not incriminate themselves. No one was convicted of Settle's murder, but the city of Signal Hill did pay a large settlement to the family. One of several highly controversial deaths of arrestee's in the 1970's and 80's that changed the way police departments deal with prisoners. Many police departments now videotape jail areas, and any time a police officer or correction officer touches a prisoner in any sort of a restraining way, a report is required to be written.

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