New video shows a Georgia deputy tasering a restrained, mentally ill man in the groin just hours before he was found dead, still strapped to a jail cell chair.
Chatham County Sheriff’s deputies Jason Kenny and Maxine Evans and jail nurse Gregory Brown were charged with involuntary manslaughter after 22-year-old Matthew Ajibade’s January death.
The college student, who suffered from bipolar disorder, was found dead handcuffed in an isolated cell early on Jan. 2. He was taken into custody after a domestic violence disturbance call on New Year’s Day after he allegedly hit his girlfriend. He became combative during booking at the Chatham County jail in Savannah and broke a deputy’s nose, officials said.
Ajibade was handcuffed to a chair, and Kenny used a Taser to subdue him. Video from a camera attached to the stun gun showed Ajibade restrained in the chair as the deputy aimed the device at his thigh and groin, NBC News reported.
Most of the minute-long video’s audio is garbled, but Ajibade is heard screaming after the Taser went off. The 22-year-old was later found unresponsive in the chair.
Prosecutors argued in court on Friday the video showed that Ajibade was not combative and was physically restrained when he was shocked.
“It is nothing less than torture,” Ajibade family attorney Mark O’Mara told NBC. “It’s sadism.”
The family is considering a civil suit, said O’Mara, who also represented George Zimmerman during his trial in the death of Trayvon Martin.
Ajibade was in the midst of a bipolar episode when he attacked his girlfriend and then the deputies, the family said. As the student was carted away from the family home, his girlfriend even gave the officers a bottle of his medication.
Kenny, Evans and seven other deputies who were on duty during Ajibade’s detainment were fired in May.
A month later, the county coroner ruled his death a homicide, paving the way for the manslaughter indictments against the trio of jail workers.
On top of manslaughter, Brown, a contacted health care worker at the Chatham County jail, and Evans were also charged with reckless conduct for failing to monitor Ajibade’s condition. Kenny was also charged with aggravated assault and cruelty to an inmate for his use of the stun gun.
With News Wire Services
Deputy Tases Handcuffed Inmate In The Groin Hours Before He Was Found Dead – Was It Torture?