MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating after an inmate died at 201 Poplar.
The TBI said an inmate died while in the custody of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department Wednesday night. The TBI have not identified the inmate or released any details surrounding the death.
However, family members have identified the inmate as 33-year-old Gershun Freeman.
Freeman was booked into jail Saturday, October 1, after he was accused of kidnapping and threatening his ex-girlfriend.
Freeman’s wife Nicole said she got a call from a detective at 1:30 a.m. saying her husband was involved in a fight with a guard.
When she hadn’t heard back Thursday morning, she got worried and called the morgue herself only to find out her husband was dead.
“We just knew that something wasn’t right. After the call with the detective, I tried to look him up in the system. No record of him. There was no indication he was even in the system,” Nicole said. “Everything we know up to this point, we had to find out on our own.”
Nicole said losing her husband is hard and not having a clue what happened to him makes it even harder.
“No information has been given as of yet. This has been our own investigation, no one has said anything, no one has confirmed. No one has said he’s no longer in their custody. No new information at all,” she said.
Freeman’s father, George Burkes, says that when he went to the morgue, he wasn’t allowed to see his son.
Freeman’s family describes him as a loving son, husband, and father. They said he never got in any trouble, and there was more to the story about the incident that landed him in jail.
But they say regardless of what happened, he didn’t deserve to die in jail, and they are demanding answers.
“I believe they are trying to hide something, cover up something,” Burkes said. “Why they ain’t call us and tell us when it happened at seven something last night? We ain’t get word of it til he was dead at 6:15 the morning.”
While they search for answers, they hope someone will be held accountable for Freeman’s death.
“And I want to see the DA is going to hold any guard accountable for their actions, what they done to my boy because for them to not call us, sitting on it evidently, must be trying to hide something,” Burkes said.
The TBI says Shelby County District Attorney General Steve Mulroy requested that they investigate the death.
“The District Attorney’s office is aware of the death that occurred in the Shelby County jail Wednesday evening and has called Tennessee Bureau of Investigations to investigate. The investigation is ongoing and we have no further details at this time,” Mulroy said in a statement.
Both TBI and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on the investigation or any potential disciplinary action.