MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump on Friday joined family and supporters of Gershun Freeman to call for justice after Freeman died at the Shelby County Jail.

They are calling for sweeping changes at 201 Poplar, and requesting the Department of Justice look into Freeman’s death.

“Who are the people that murdered my son? They have blood on they hand,” said Freeman’s mother, Kimberly Freeman. “My son had a lot of dreams, a lot of admiration. He cared for people in general and for the people to murder my son in this hell hole, we want answers.”

Freeman, 33, died in police custody this past fall. Only recently was footage of his encounter with jailers made public.

A naked Freeman is seen being kicked, punched and pepper sprayed. Attorney Ben Crump says Freeman had a mental health breakdown before the beating.

“We have to treat mental health like a medical condition, not like a criminal matter and it starts here in Shelby County with Gershun Freeman.” Crump said.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has provided the following statements after a press conference on Friday:

Immediate action was taken by the Sheriff the night of the incident in October 2022. Per protocol, DA Mulroy and TBI were contacted that night to begin the investigation.

Also, that night all officers who had contact with Mr. Freeman were relieved of duty and remain in that status today.

Jail health care is provided by the Shelby County Mayor’s administration. Decisions about the type and numbers of health care professionals employed in the jail are determined by the Mayor’s administration, not the Sheriff.

“It’s unfortunate this case is being tried in the media before the review is complete”, said Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. Sheriff Bonner recently obtained a commitment from the State Mental Health Commissioner to double the number of beds for jail inmates at the Memphis Mental Health Institute.

The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office recused itself from the case so now Nashville’s DA has been tasked with deciding if charges will be filed. Crump is asking for the Department of Justice to review the matter.

“This Merrick Garland Justice Department prosecuted the officers who killed George Floyd, and I know they are prosecuting the killers of Tyre Nichols, and so we believe that there’s a precedent there that they are going to look into Gershun Freeman’s case,” he said.

Among those who are standing in solidarity with Freeman’s family were the parents of Tyre Nichols, who died after being beaten by Memphis Police officers earlier this year.

“All I’m here for is support just to stand with her because no mother, no mother, no mother, no mother, regardless, to what should have to bury they child as we have,” said Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells.

Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner previously told WREG he doesn’t plan on taking any action against the corrections officers until the investigation is complete.