MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A sea of blue took over Belvedere Park in Midtown Memphis as dozens of family members and friends gathered to remember Courtney Ross.  

Dozens of people showed up to the Belvedere Park in Midtown to feel each other’s pain, share each other’s memories, and mourn the loss of the 19-year-old who died while in police custody on August 11.

“Courtney was a good kid, y’all,” said his father, Courtney Ross, Sr. “And he loved this area, he loved working with his daddy. He loved to play and go and just have freedom. He was a good kid! He was a good kid, man!”

Ross died after police were called to a property near South Idlewild and Madison for reports of a man rummaging through boxes and retrieving poisonous bait used for rodents. 

THE TBI later said that man was Ross. Memphis Police say when they approached, he ran away, initially resisting being handcuffed, but was eventually put in the back of a cop car. 

Investigators say Ross was out of breath, so they called an ambulance. He later died at the hospital. 

“He needed help that day,” said a family member. “He didn’t need to be handcuffed in 100-something-degree weather for hours. That’s just inhumane.”

So as loved ones mourn Ross, they also demand answers about why this happened, and they say this continues to happen in this city. 

It wasn’t just family members speaking Sunday night. Rodney Wells, the father of Tyre Nichols, who was beaten to death by police back in January, came out to support Ross’ family, he says, as someone who has been there. 

“This can’t go on. Killing all these innocent brothers and sisters,” Wells said. “This cannot continue. There has to be something done to stop this.”

Right now, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking at the incident. Meanwhile, the family is working with attorney Ben Crump and is demanding police release the body camera footage from the day Ross died. 

The officers involved in the arrest have been placed on leave.