Yesterday (March 2), surveillance video was released of correctional officers beating an inmate at Shelby County Jail in Memphis, Tennessee. The Black man on the receiving end, Gershun Freeman, died shortly after the altercation. Now, his family is calling for justice.

Freeman was arrested on Oct. 1, 2022 after his girlfriend accused him of domestic violence. He was taken into custody and charged with aggravated assault and aggravated kidnapping. According to local news station Fox 13 Memphis, the footage was recorded on Oct. 5, 2022. In the clip, two guards attempt to bring Freeman a plate of food, but when they open his cell, he charges at them, full-force and completely naked. A struggle ensues, and within seconds, more correctional officers join in the fight, leaving the inmate severely outnumbered.

“Frankly, I would challenge anybody watching the video for the first time to pick out a specific number of deputies. What I think we can be clear on is that it was 10 or more,” Jake Brown, one of the attorneys representing the Freeman family, said during an interview with the news station. He added that when the 33-year-old was “clearly limp without a pulse” and “non-responsive on the floor,” he received no assistance. The attorney credits authorities in Nashville for stepping in to provide them with video evidence: “Frankly, the sheriff’s office has not communicated with us at all. We are fortunate to have a district attorney, or I’d say two district attorneys, one in Memphis, one in Nashville, who themselves are both committed to transparency and accountability. And if not for them, I don’t think we would have seen the video yet.”

Brown also mentioned that the Memphis Police Department is “not always honest,” citing the recent Tyre Nichols case. Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump has also signed on to represent the family of the slain inmate. “The death of Gershun Freeman is yet another shocking example of police brutality in the Memphis and Shelby County criminal justice systems. The newly released footage is visual evidence that at least 10 officers brutalized and beat Gershun to death, when he was naked and clearly suffering from a mental health crisis. Gershun’s family thanks District Attorney Glenn Funk’s office for their transparency in this, and we are confident that their office will bring these officers to justice on the criminal side,” he shared in a statement.

Yesterday, Memphis Sheriff Floyd Bonner said, “According to the Medical Examiner, Mr. Gershun Freeman suffered from psychosis and cardiovascular disease and died of a heart attack while being restrained. It is unfortunate that parts of the video are being shown out of context because the full video does show the erratic and violent behavior that led to the need to restrain Mr. Freeman. These corrections officers deserve a fair review of this case, and I will wait for additional information from the TBI and the investigating DA before taking further administrative action.” The Nashville District Attorney’s Office will now handle the open investigation.