Pleasanton will pay $5.9M to parents of mentally ill man who died after confrontation with police

The city of Pleasanton has agreed to pay the parents of a man who died in police custody $5.9 million, one of the largest wrongful death settlements ever in the Bay Area.

The victim, 38-year-old Jacob Bauer, died shortly after a confrontation with officers in 2018  He was mentally ill.

Officers were called to Raley's grocery store on Sunol Boulevard after receiving a report of someone acting erratically. That's when officers encountered Bauer.

Officers restrained Bauer, used a taser on him, and put a mask over his face.

Bauer worked in the tech industry.

"We are shattered every day, just thinking about it. We are shattered," said his father John Bauer.

As part of the agreement, the Bauer's also demanded to meet with Pleasanton Police Chief David Swing.

"The ultimate goal is to have a medical response to a person in crisis as opposed to a law enforcement response," said Bauer's father.

The family's attorney Gary Gwilliam said they could have received more money, but wanted the meeting instead.

"At last they will have a voice in continuing to try and make changes so that Jacob's death will have some meaning," he said.

Before their son's death, his father said he met with police to tell them about Bauer in the hopes of avoiding a violent confrontation. An officer told the man, "'If we encounter your son, Mr. Bauer, I can assure you we have the training to handle it properly.'"

After an investigation, the Alameda County District Attorney declined to file charges against any of the involved officers.

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The coroner did find drugs in Bauer's system.

The police department said in a statement, "The Pleasanton Police Department values the sanctity of life and continues to extend its most sincere condolences to the Bauer family."

The Bauer family says they plan to fight for police reform.

"One thing we plan to do with the money continues our advocacy on behalf of families who are or were in the situation that we are," John Bauer said.