Family files lawsuit after death of inmate

Legal action
The City of San Benito prepares for litigation taken against it following the death of a prisoner last year.
(Photo by Louie Diaz)


The City of San Benito and several officers of the San Benito Police Department are facing a lawsuit following the death of Ernesto Gonzalez in 2019.
The plaintiff, Astrid Gonzalez, is represented by Eduardo Lucio. The defendants in the case are The City of San Benito, former Police Chief Michael Galvan, Officer Manuel Cisneros and Sergeant Eloy Martinez. According to the case file, Astrid Gonzalez represents herself, the estate of Ernesto Gonzalez and their five children. The suit was filed on Dec. 18, 2020.
Astrid Gonzalez and Lucio filed this suit due to alleged constitutional violations and state law personal injuries suffered by her husband, Ernesto Gonzalez. Lucio alleges that Ernesto Gonzalez was deprived of his constitutional rights due to the policies, practices, customs and procedures of the San Benito City Jail.
A custodial death report was released by the Office of the Attorney General of Texas in December of 2019. The report states that Gonzalez was arrested for theft of under $2,500 with two previous convictions. The report also states that Ernesto Gonzalez requested medication. Officer Rodney Serna went into Gonzalez’s cell to speak with him, and asked if he had any medication on his person which Gonzalez responded, no.

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