Video Shows Cops Beat a Naked Black Man to Death With Handcuffs as Brass Knuckles

A throng of corrections officers at a Memphis jail used handcuffs as makeshift brass knuckles to beat a Black inmate and kneeled on his back and neck until he went limp in a pool of blood, according to surveillance video. And for minutes, they administered no aid, including CPR. 

The county medical examiner ruled Gershun Freeman’s death on Oct. 5, 2022, a homicide. Ever since, the 33-year-old’s family and friends have demanded the officers involved be punished and the notorious Shelby County Jail where it happened be reformed. Now, a federal civil rights complaint filed Tuesday reveals new details of the horror Freeman experienced, including analysis of the jail’s blurry, 13-minute surveillance video.

“The gatekeepers are supposed to keep, but instead they abuse their authority with violence,” Kimberly Freeman, Gershun’s mother, told VICE News. “We are mountain climbers for my son, Gershun. Living wasn’t in vain.”

The incident began when corrections officers approached Freeman’s cell in what was known as the “suicide pod,” on the fourth floor of the jail, to serve dinner, according to court documents. Freeman seemed to be experiencing a mental health crisis and was housed naked and alone to minimize the risk of self-harm. But instead of serving his tray through the door slot, which was common practice, surveillance video shows two officers approached Freeman’s cell and pointed a can of mace at him as a third officer opened the doors remotely from the other side of the hallway.

In the surveillance video, Freeman is seen shielding himself from the mace with an orange piece of fabric, which he was given for warmth, and darting out of the cell. His family’s attorneys say he wasn’t attempting to hit anyone but “bat away the mace can in the deputy’s hand.” Then, the other officer hit Freeman with a haymaker punch, which knocked him to the ground, surveillance video shows.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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