Residents of Savannah, Georgia, are reeling after two sheriff’s deputies were acquitted of killing Matthew Ajibade, a twenty-two year old black college student, while he was in their custody. Ajibade was arrested after a dispute with his girlfriend; she told police he was bipolar and attempted to give them his medicine. Instead, they took him to jail.
What happens next is inexplicable. Video records show the cops severely beat Ajibade, strapped him to a chair, and repeatedly tasered his genitals. The man died shortly after, still in the chair. His death was ruled a homicide by blunt-force trauma, but somehow, the police have gotten away with murder. They were found guilty for other, less substantial charges: Jason Kenny was found guilty of cruelty to an inmate, while Maxine Evans was found guilty of public records fraud and three counts of perjury for lying in her grand jury testimony, reports Think Progress.
His family is very upset at the miscarriage of justice. “I knew that that same system that failed Mathew would not be the system that got him justice. I had already warned my family not to expect anything” said Ajibade’s cousin, Chris Oladapo. Ajibade was the 43rd man killed by police this month. Half of all the people who are killed by police have mental disorders, according to a study.
The appalling violence inflicted on Ajibade is deeply disturbing; what could possibly have motivated these police to respond to a mentally unstable man with such brutality? Too many people die in our jails cells, at the hands of those chosen to protect and serve us. This is not the way a police force or any human should behave, and we cannot allow them to continue executing our citizens without judge or jury.
Graphic footage of the incidnt has been made available to NBC News. Discretion is advised:
h/t to Think Progress
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Colin Taylor is the managing editor of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.