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You are here News Domestic (USA) ‘Psychologically tortured’: California city pays man nearly $1m after 17-hour police interrogation

‘Psychologically tortured’: California city pays man nearly $1m after 17-hour police interrogation

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Caliifornia man tortured by policeA California city has agreed to pay $900,000 to a man who was subjected to a 17-hour police interrogation in which officers pressured him to falsely confess to murdering his father, who was alive.

During the 2018 interrogation of Thomas Perez Jr by police in Fontana, a city east of Los Angeles, officers suggested they would have Perez’s dog euthanized as a result of his actions, according to a complaint and footage of the encounter. A judge said the questioning appeared to be “unconstitutional psychological torture”, and the city agreed to settle Perez’s lawsuit for $898,000, his lawyer announced this week.

The extraordinary case of a coerced false confession has sparked widespread outrage, with footage showing Perez in extreme emotional and physical distress, including as officers brought his dog in and said the animal would need to be put down due to “depression” from witnessing a murder that had not actually occurred.

The incident began on the evening of 7 August 2018 when Perez Jr’s father, Thomas Perez Sr, whom he lived with, left the house with their dog to get the mail, according to a summary of the case written by Dolly Gee, a federal judge. The dog returned a few minutes later, but Perez Sr did not; the next day, his son called the police and reported him missing.

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