Video released showing incident that led to 201 Poplar inmate’s death

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 6:08 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Newly-released surveillance footage shows the final moments of Gershun Freeman’s life.

Freeman, 33, died inside Shelby County Jail after an encounter with jailers on October 5, 2022.

“I feel like they did my son wrong,” said George Burks, Freeman’s father.

Freeman was booked into Shelby County Jail on domestic assault and kidnapping charges.

The 13-minute-long edited surveillance video, released by the Nashville District Attorney’s Office, begins by showing corrections officers handing out meals to inmates. Once his door opens, the video shows Freeman lunge at officers from his cell, and nearly a dozen officers trying to subdue him.

It shows Freeman wandering naked, bruised, and bloody across multiple floors of the jail while officers make attempts to take him back into custody.

The video shows when jailers were finally able to put Freeman in cuffs. At that point, he’s seen limp and unresponsive.

He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Burks says he wants the officers seen in the video punching, kicking, and pepper spraying his son punished.

“They just came out and started beating him, and they beat him to death,” Burks said.

According to an autopsy, Freeman suffered cardiac arrest while he was restrained. His manner of death has been classified as a homicide.

The autopsy summary indicates that CPR was administered on the scene, but that was not observed in the video released by the Nashville DA’s Office.

“I would like to see those officers brought to justice,” Burks said.

Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner defended the corrections officers who were involved in the incident in a statement Thursday night, saying that the 13-minute-long video released by the Nashville DA’s Office does not provide enough context of the situation:

Both the TBI and the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office are investigating Freeman’s death.

Attorney Ben Crump is representing Freeman’s family. He issued this statement following the video’s release:

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