CCTV Shows Police Brutalizing Matthew Ajibade Before His Death On New Year’s Day
Shocking CCTV footage taken in a jail in Georgia shows an inmate being kicked and punched during a fight with police officers shortly before his death.
The footage, played in court today, shows Mathew Ajibade, 21, in a brawl with several jailers, which ends with him being punched and kicked in the head. Ajibade was left alone in restraints for an hour-and-a-half after the violence, at which point he was found dead.
Ajibade, a student of the Savannah Technical College died in custody of law enforcement officials in a death ruled by authorities as homicide by blunt force trauma.
According to a report from nationofchange in June,
Responding to a domestic disturbance at 6:15 p.m. on January 1, Savannah-Chatham police confronted a Savannah Technical College student named Matthew Ajibade and his girlfriend. According to the police report, Ajibade refused several commands to release his girlfriend and began resisting arrest. Officers slammed Ajibade to the ground before handcuffing him.
Ajibade was charged with battery against his girlfriend and resisting arrest. As officers subdued Ajibade, his girlfriend asked them to take Ajibade to the hospital and gave them his Divalproex medication, which treats the manic phase of bipolar disorder and seizures. Ajibade had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder three years earlier.
Instead of taking Ajibade to the hospital, officers transported him to the Chatham County jail at 6:40 p.m. While being booked, Ajibade allegedly became combative with deputies and attacked them. According to the sheriff’s office, a female sergeant suffered a broken nose and a concussion while two male deputies suffered injuries consistent with a fight.
Deputies placed Ajibade in an isolation cell and strapped him to a restraining chair. They reportedly shot Ajibade with a Taser and repeatedly struck him in the head and upper body as he remained strapped to the chair. While performing a welfare check on him the next morning, deputies found Ajibade unresponsive. Medical staff administered CPR and attempted to restart his heart with a defibrillator. A coroner pronounced him dead at 8:45 a.m.
On May 7, Cpl. Maxine Evans and Cpl. Jason Kenny were placed on administrative leave pending further investigation into Ajibade’s death. The next day, Chatham County Coroner William Wessinger ruled Ajibade’s death a homicide by force blunt trauma. According to his death certificate, Ajibade suffered multiple abrasions around the head and blood inside the skull case. He also had several injuries to his upper body.
On the same day that Dr. Wessinger signed the death certificate, nine deputies were fired from the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office. After concluding an internal affairs investigation into Ajibade’s death, Sheriff Al St. Lawrence fired Cpl. Maxine Evans, Cpl. Jason Kenny, Pvt. Eric Vinson, Pvt. Abram Burns, Pvt. Christopher Reed, Pvt. Burt Ambrose, Pvt. Paul Folsome, Pvt. Frederick Burke, and Pvt. Andrew Evans-Martinez. According to the sheriff’s office staff, deputies Greg Capers, Benjamin Webster, and Lt. Debra Johnson were also involved in the incident but were either fired or retired before the other terminations.