UPDATE: Civil Rights attorney Ben Crump will represent the family of Courtney Ross.


MEMPHIS, Tenn.. — Questions are still being asked after 19-year-old Courtney Ross died in police custody on Friday.

A witness named Louis said he saw Ross “going through garbage and acting really weird” shortly before his death.

Memphis Police say that they received a call stating Ross was rummaging through boxes and retrieving poisonous bait that is used for rodents. In an additional 911 call to the area, they were told a man was looking into vehicles and going through mailboxes.

Louis stated when he saw Ross he noticed that he didn’t have any shoes on before he walked to a nearby parking lot.

“And then the next thing I know the police pull up in there and one got out of the car and one was driving and dude just took off running,” Louis said.

Police say after chasing Ross, he resisted being handcuffed but was eventually taken into custody and placed in the squad car.

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That’s when officers claim they noticed he appeared to be out of breath and exhausted from running. He was taken to the hospital where he later died. 

Louis says he believes Ross was under the influence of something. “Just by looking at him and his demeanor,” he said. “It’s just sad, anybody that dies you know it’s sad.”

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has now taken over the investigation.

WREG has reached out to the TBI to see when an autopsy will be performed for the cause of death, but so far we have not heard back.