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Gershun Freeman

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Nine jail deputies in Memphis have been indicted for allegedly killing a Black inmate last fall while he was in custody. 

Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner disclosed the existence of indictments on Wednesday, but did not give any information on who was charged, nor did he give any details on the charges. 

Gershun Freeman’s family, who has a wrongful death lawsuit against Bonner, have also stated that the indictments were sealed and they declined to share any names of the officers or charges filed.

Gershun Freeman, 33, died Oct. 5 inside Shelby County Jail in Memphis, Tennessee, while having a psychotic episode, according to reports. According to AP, Freeman had been booked Oct. 1 for charges of attacking and kidnapping his girlfriend. 

Video of Freeman’s incident with Memphis deputies was released in March by the Nashville District Attorney’s Office, nearly five months after his death. 

The 13-minute-long edited video shows officers handing out meals to inmates. When officers get to Freeman’s cell, it shows Freeman lunging at officers, then nearly a dozen officers trying to subdue him.

Freeman can then be seen getting kicked, punched and pepper sprayed repeatedly by officers.

The gruesome video continues as Freeman’s naked, bloody and disoriented, wanders around the facility until officers try once again to get the man back to his cell. When officers finally subdue Freeman, he’s completely limp and unresponsive.

“I feel like they did my son wrong,” said Freeman’s father, George Burks. “They just came out and started beating him, and they beat him to death.”

According to the autopsy summary, CPR was administered on the scene but was not seen in the video released by the DA’s office. Freeman would be pronounced dead on the scene shortly after. The autopsy report revealed that Freeman suffered cardiac arrest while he was restrained, and his death has been classified as a homicide.

“According to the Medical Examiner, Mr. Gershun Freeman suffered from psychosis and cardiovascular disease and died of a heart attack while being restrained,” Bonner said in a statement in March. 

Bonner also said that he placed the officers on administrative leave but supported their innocence saying the indictments were politically motivated. 

“Let me be clear. No action — no action — by any Shelby County Sheriff’s Office employee caused Mr. Freeman’s death,” Bonner said. 

But attorney Ben Crump thinks otherwise stating in March, “the death of Gershun Freeman is yet another shocking example of police brutality in the Memphis and Shelby County criminal justice systems.”


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The post Memphis Jail Deputies Indicted For Beating Black Inmate To Death appeared first on NewsOne.

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