Another black man is dead in Memphis, Tennessee after he was beaten inside the Shelby County Jail by correctional officers.
33-year-old Gershun Freeman died at the Shelby County Jail on October 5, 2022. An autopsy report said Freeman “had a cardiac arrest” after the altercation with officers, which concluded with officers restraining him. The autopsy says, “CPR was initiated,” but unsuccessful.
Unfortunately, Freeman did not make it and died at the scene.
In a video, attorneys for Freeman’s family, Jake Brown and Ben Crump said that before Freeman was beaten, you could see him naked in an isolation cell shouting at the camera in his cell.
The video began with Mr. Freeman in an isolation cell, naked, Brown said. And he was shouting at the camera that was in the cell… there were no sounds and [we] couldn’t make out what he was saying, but he was very agitated about something, possibly having some sort of psychotic episode.
Noted in his past history, Freeman had a history of Psychosis.
Attorney Brown said another camera shows “several officers come to his door and open it.”
Not long after, the camera switched to one outside of the cell, and you could see several officers come to his door and open it. And it’s not clear why they opened it, Brown local outlets. Mr. Freeman ran out of his cell.
The group officers arrived, opened Freeman’s cell door, and tried to apprehend him, hitting him repeatedly with batons, their fists, and a pepper spray container.
According to Freeman’s attorney, Freeman was also sprayed with oil-based chemical irritants, which made Freeman’s body slippery and hard to restrain.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
The autopsy found Freeman’s cause of death to be an exacerbation of “cardiovascular disease due to physical altercation and subdual.” The autopsy classifies the death as a homicide but notes that it is “not meant to definitively indicate criminal intent.”
Freeman had only been booked into the Shelby County jail four days earlier on charges of aggravated kidnapping and domestic violence. His bond was set at $75,000.
Freeman’s family wants answers and accountability from the sheriff’s department.
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