Home Feature News 9 deputies indicted within the dying of Gershun Freeman after he was crushed in Memphis jail | CNN

9 deputies indicted within the dying of Gershun Freeman after he was crushed in Memphis jail | CNN

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9 deputies indicted within the dying of Gershun Freeman after he was crushed in Memphis jail | CNN

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CNN
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9 corrections deputies in Shelby County, Tennessee, have been indicted in connection to the in-custody dying of Gershun Freeman final 12 months, together with two deputies who’re going through homicide costs.

These two deputies, Stevon Jones and Courtney Parham, have been indicted by a grand jury on costs of second-degree homicide and aggravated assault leading to dying for his or her alleged involvement in Freeman’s dying whereas incarcerated at Shelby County Jail in October 2022.

Seven different deputies have been indicted on lesser costs associated to Freeman’s dying.

Freeman’s household has been calling for justice and accountability for months after surveillance footage revealed a violent encounter between Freeman, 33, and a number of other deputies on October 5, 2022, which in the end resulted in his dying.

The footage, made public in March, reveals a number of officers punching, kicking and utilizing what seems to be pepper spray on Freeman as as they try and subdue him after he lunged at officers from inside his cell.

Medical experts discovered Freeman’s reason behind dying to be exacerbation of “heart problems attributable to bodily altercation and subdual” and that “possible psychotic dysfunction” was possible a contributing situation. The household’s lawyer has mentioned Freeman was beneath psychological well being statement whereas on the jail.

Jones and Parham didn’t instantly reply to CNN’s request for remark. CNN has been unable to find out attorneys for the 9 deputies.

Brice Timmons, an lawyer for Freeman’s household, mentioned at a information convention the household is “extraordinarily happy that the grand jury has returned indictments. They really feel just like the system may truly get some justice.”

Freeman had been booked into jail per week earlier than his dying on costs of home violence associated to aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault.

In a fiery information convention Wednesday night time, Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. addressed the indictments and mentioned “the best way this case was being dealt with is political.”

Bonner is working for mayor of Memphis. Shelby County District Lawyer Steve Mulroy has endorsed one in all Bonner’s mayoral race opponents and has recused himself from the case of Freeman’s dying.

Mulroy mentioned in a press release that his endorsement of Bonner’s opponent, Van Turner, got here earlier than Freeman’s dying and earlier than Bonner introduced his candidacy.

“I stand with these officers,” Bonner mentioned Wednesday. “I discover this (prosecution) despicable.”

A sign demanding justice for Gershun Freeman is held up at a family news conference in March.

Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, who additionally represents the household, mentioned the indictments come “after a protracted combat for justice in his title and displays the combat for justice for therefore many who die in custody.”

The case is being prosecuted by District Lawyer Basic Glenn Funk, whose jurisdiction contains Nashville, after Mulroy’s recusal. Funk was appointed to the case by the Tennessee District Attorneys Basic Convention.

A spokesperson for Funk has not returned inquiries from CNN concerning the case.

Edited surveillance digital camera footage from contained in the jail, which was launched by Funk, has fueled requires justice for Freeman and his household.

Within the video, corrections officers are seen opening Freeman’s cell as they’re handing meals to inmates. Freeman, who’s bare, lunges at officers after the door opens.

A number of officers attempt to restrain Freeman and are seen punching, kicking and utilizing what seems to be pepper spray on Freeman.

In this video still, a group of guards attempts to subdue Gershun Freeman outside his cell.

Freeman’s physique seems to depart a path of fluid on the ground as he strikes into a special hallway. Twice, Freeman is seen on the ground clinging to a guard’s leg earlier than getting up and working away.

After officers chase Freeman to a different flooring of the jail and attempt to subdue him, he seems to swing at an officer. Officers ultimately restrain Freeman, partly by putting a knee on his again, and put handcuffs on him as he’s on his abdomen.

Minutes later, when officers attempt to raise Freeman, he seems limp and unresponsive.

In keeping with Timmons, the household lawyer, Freeman was bare in his cell as a result of he had been beneath psychological well being statement and was positioned in a suicide watch cell.

“I don’t know what is occurring in America the place legislation enforcement feels they’ll deal with psychological well being points like prison points. Particularly if they’re marginalized folks of shade. Particularly if they’re Black males,” Crump mentioned in March.

Freeman’s mom, Kimberly Freeman, has demanded justice for herself, her son and his daughter.

“We have now to see my son – her father – in a field. We didn’t plan this. My son had quite a lot of desires, quite a lot of admiration, he cared for folks typically,” she mentioned in March. “We would like solutions.”

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