In June of 2017, Citrus Heights, CA police held a shirtless James Bradford Nelson III on the scorching hot pavement at a KFC restaurant. The asphalt was estimated to be 170 degrees that day. Human skin is instantly destroyed at 162 degrees.
Nelson, who was 27-years old and diagnosed with schizophrenia, was being detained by police after a mental episode where he was accused of trying to take a restaurant employee’s wallet. That charge was later dropped.
Police held Nelson face down on the pavement for approximately five minutes as he screamed and flailed in pain. After the officers picked him up and saw the burns, they poured water on him and called an ambulance.
When Nelson arrived at the medical center, his body temperature was 108 degrees, he had second- and third-degree burns over 20 percent of his body, suffered kidney failure, and was in shock. Nelson would be left permanently disfigured with scar tissue on his face, chest, and stomach.
According to the excessive force lawsuit filed last year, “Nelson nearly died from these injuries and required months of immediate care at the UC Davis Medical Center.” The lawsuit sought $26 million in damages from Citrus Heights, CA.
Two weeks ago, Citrus Heights, CA officials settled the suit and agreed to pay $1.2 million to Nelson. The settlement also included a written promise by Nelson and his attorneys not to contact the media or discuss the settlement.
The settlement also states that the city and the officers sued for their actions that day are not liable for any wrongdoing.