Mary Ann Sherman, the mother of 32-year-old Chase Sherman, called the police on Nov. 20, 2015, when she found her son “freaking out” after consuming a synthetic drug.
But unfortunately, instead of helping him and calling for emergency or medical assistance, the two officers and one medical technician who showed up used excessive force on the young man.
“When I called 911 that night, I called them to help Chase, not to show up and torture him to death,” Mary Anne Sherman said during a media conference, WXIA reports.
Deputies Joshua Sepanski and Samuel Smith, along with EMT Daniel Elliot, repeatedly used stun guns on Sherman while he begged for his life. According to the Coweta County Sheriff's Office records, one deputy used his stun gun nine times within two minutes. Another deputy’s stun gun was used six times in four minutes. Video footage released from the incident shows the medical technical leaning on the man on the floor informing the officers that he has him pinned down.
“They took his life while we were praying that they were going to get help for him to the hospital.”
They struggled with Chase Sherman in the vehicle until he was still, only to realize he was no longer breathing.
He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
“Nobody deserves to be tased 15 times, to be suffocated,” Sherman’s mother said.
“Our son begged for his life in the backseat of that car and these guys thought it was a game,” the man’s father said.
Sherman’s death certificate states the incident as a homicide describing it as a “sudden death during an altercation with law enforcement with several trigger pulls of an electronic control device, prone positioning on the floor of a motor vehicle and compression of the torso by the body weight of another individual.” However, the agonizing video footage showing the officers high-fiving over his dead body and the repeated use of stun guns suggest otherwise.
The Shermans' attorney, Brian Spears, explained that the 32-year-old was no longer around to explain the agony he went through, and that in such a case, the video must be used as evidence to reach a conclusion.
Yet, sadly, in October, the Coweta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Peter Skandalakis said that Sherman's death was definitely tragic but did not involve any criminal action.
Sherman’s parents have asked U.S. Attorney John Horn in Atlanta to start off a civil rights investigation. However, the office and Nathan Lee, an attorney representing the sheriff's office, both have denied commenting, since the lawsuit is still pending.
Incidents of police brutality have become extremely common in the United States where people call officers for help in an emergency situation, but instead see them kill their loved ones right in front of their eyes. A well-known incident is the killing of Alfred Olango, when Olango’s sister called the police for help since the man was acting strangely. But things took an unexpected turn when the officers instead of helping Olango, who they had been warned was “sick”, fatally shot him.
"Why couldn't you tase him? I told you he is sick — and you guys shot him!" Olango's sister was heard telling officers in the video from the incident. "I called police to help him, not to kill him.”
Thumbnail/Banner: Wikimedia Commons User Tony Webster