Gershun Freeman (2022)

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On October 5, 2022, Freeman was in jail when Shelby County Tennessee Sheriff's Office corrections officers approached his cell to serve dinner. Rather than use the slot in the door, officers opened the door. Freeman rushed at the officers, one of whom used pepper spray. Another officer punched Freeman, knocking him to the ground. Eight other officers joined the altercation, kicking and punching Freeman. Some officers used handcuffs as makeshift brass knuckles.[1]

Freeman escaped from the officers and ran through the jail before being slammed to the ground by a supervisor. Officers knelt on Freeman's back, neck, and head for several minutes. Freeman stopped breathing, and officers did not render aid. Freeman was pronounced dead at the scene.[1]

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the District Attorney's Justice Review Unit opened investigations.[2]

Freeman's family sued the Sheriff, the Chief Jailer, and the county for violating Freeman's civil rights.[1]


The incident was captured on surveillance video.[1]

On March 2, 2023, the Nashville District Attorney released the video.[3]

Officers Involved

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Official Reports

Additional Sources