Family of Gershun Freeman, a Black man killed in Memphis jail, demands justice


The household of a Black man who died in a Memphis jail in October is making a public plea for justice and say they need solutions from authorities and accountability from these accountable.

The household of Gershun Freeman, a 33-year-old who died in custody on the Shelby County Jail, spoke at a information convention Friday. They have been joined by legal professionals, together with Civil Rights lawyer Ben Crump and supporters that included the mother and father of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who died three days after Memphis law enforcement officials repeatedly punched and kicked him after a visitors cease.

Video footage of Freeman’s encounter with corrections officers contained in the jail was made public this month.

The video footage, launched by the Nashville District Legal professional, totals about 13 minutes and reveals a number of angles of a violent incident between Freeman and a number of corrections officers that led to Freeman’s dying on October 5, 2022.

Freeman had been booked into jail every week earlier than his dying on expenses of home violence associated to aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault, based on the arrest affidavit obtained by CNN affiliate WHBQ.

Within the edited surveillance digital camera video, corrections officers are seen handing out meals to inmates and once they open the door of Freeman’s cell, a unadorned Freeman lunges at officers. The video reveals a number of officers punching, kicking, and utilizing what seems to be pepper spray on Freeman as as they try and subdue him.

His physique seems to go away a path of unknown fluid on the ground beneath him as he strikes into a unique hallway. Throughout two separate situations, Freeman could be seen on the ground clinging to the leg of a guard, earlier than getting up and working away.

After officers chase Freeman to a different jail ground and attempt to restrain him, he seems to swing at an officer. Officers finally subdue Freeman, together with by inserting a knee on his again, and put him in handcuffs as he was on his abdomen.

A couple of minutes later, when officers attempt to raise him, he seems limp and unresponsive.

Kimberly Freeman, Gershun Freeman’s mom, stated she desires justice for her son, for herself, and for her granddaughter.

“We have now to see my son – her father – in a field. We didn’t plan this. My son had numerous goals, numerous admiration, he cared for individuals typically,” she stated. “We would like solutions.”

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

Freeman’s household and their attorneys are additionally calling on the Justice Division to analyze.

Freeman was bare within the video as a result of he had been underneath psychological well being commentary within the jail and was positioned in a suicide watch cell, stated lawyer Brice Timmons, who’s representing the household.

“I don’t know what is occurring in America the place regulation enforcement feels they’ll deal with psychological well being points like legal points. Particularly if they’re marginalized individuals of shade. Particularly if they’re Black males,” Crump stated in the course of the information convention.

A 19-page post-mortem report from the Shelby County Medical Examiner’s Workplace supplied to CNN by affiliate WHBQ says the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation instructed their workplace Freeman was concerned in a bodily altercation with corrections officers earlier than collapsing in cardiac arrest.

The post-mortem particulars quite a few contusions on Freeman’s physique, lacerations to his scalp and a number of hemorrhages on his head and neck.

Health workers discovered the reason for dying to be exacerbation of “heart problems resulting from bodily altercation and subdual.”

The report additionally says “possible psychotic dysfunction” was probably a contributing situation to his explanation for dying. The report classifies the dying as a murder, however notes it’s “not meant to definitively point out legal intent.”

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Workplace stated in a Friday assertion that “rapid motion was taken by the Sheriff the night time of the incident in October 2022. Per protocol, DA (Steve) Mulroy and TBI have been contacted that night time to start the investigation,” including that the night time of the incident “all officers who had contact with Mr. Freeman have been relieved of responsibility and stay in that standing as we speak.”

“It’s unlucky this case is being tried within the media earlier than the assessment is full,” Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. stated within the assertion.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident and instructed CNN that probe “stays energetic and ongoing.”

The Shelby County District Legal professional’s Workplace has requested the Nashville District Legal professional’s Workplace to analyze the case.

The Nashville District Legal professional’s workplace instructed CNN Friday they have been “not commenting on the video presently.”