Man dies in police custody - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Man dies in police custody

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February 21, 2004

Sylvester- Family members are saddened as they stand in the last place 37 year old Herman Jackson was seen alive.

"It hurts. Sometimes I just want to break down and cry right now but I'm trying to hold it back. I'm doing all I can to hold it back. It hurts," says his father, Ulysees Jackson.

Though it's hard for his father Ulysees to grasp the fact that his son is gone, it's his uncle Charlie that must live with images he says he'll never forget.

"I was steady telling them y'all don't hurt, don't hurt him, don't hurt him, don't hurt him," Charlie Jackson remembers.

He describes what he saw when police arrested his nephew.

"They slammed him face down against the concrete there in the road. Then after that they got him and dragged him up the street and put him in the car and then slammed the door against his head."

But, authorities have a different story. Sylvester Police Chief Tommy Bozeman says Jackson resisted arrest outside a nightclub Friday night, a struggle ensued, and it took two patrolman and Assistant Chief Charles Thurmond to restrain Jackson.

The Worth County jail was full, so Jackson was taken to Turner County. When they got there, Jackson was not responsive, and was rushed to Tift Regional Medical center. He was later pronounced dead after being transferred to a Macon hospital.

"They told me there's a small chance of him making it because there was blood on his brain and his heart was weak," says Ulysees.

But, his uncle says the medical care was just too late

"That boy didn't respond no more after they put the handcuffs on him. They dragged him up there and put him in the car. He wasn't responding at all. That boy was dead before they left here with him. They had killed him right there in that road."

GBI agents say Jackson's injuries were a result of his resistance and there is no indication that any of the officers used excessive force. But the family disagrees and says someone must be held responsible for Jackson's death.

Officer Charles Thurmond and two other officers have been placed on paid administrative leave. The autopsy results are expected by Monday.

Posted at 6:35 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com