Nine Memphis corrections officers have been charged in connection to the death of Gershun Freeman, a 33-year-old Black man who was beaten in jail.
According to People, Stevon Jones, Courtney Parham, Jeffrey Gibson, Anthony Howell, Damien Cooper, Ebonee Davis, Lareko Elliot, Chelsey Duckett, and one unnamed officer all face criminal charges in Freeman’s October 2022 death. Jones and Parham were charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault while acting in concert with others. The remaining officers face charges of aggravated assault resulting in the death of another.
The charges come after Freeman was arrested on October 1 for allegedly kidnapping and attacking his girlfriend. Four days after being taken into custody, Freeman, who had a history of mental health problems, had a psychotic episode in his cell.
Video released in March shows officers beating Freeman with a baton after he burst out of his cell naked. Officers were also seen punching Freeman, pinning him to the ground, and kneeling on him until his body went still.
Citing the medical examiner’s report, Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner previously said that Freeman died of a pre-existing heart condition during the incident. The officers charged in connection to Freeman’s death are on paid administrative leave, Bonner said.