NEWNAN, Ga. — Georgia sheriff’s deputies who repeatedly used their stun guns on a man who died soon after the struggle in the back of an SUV along an interstate will not face charges, a prosecutor said Monday.
Chase Sherman’s mother called 911 on Nov. 20 as they traveled on Interstate 85 from Atlanta to their home in Destin, Florida. She said her 32-year-old son was “freaking out” and had taken a synthetic drug known as spice.
Video from Coweta County sheriff’s deputies’ body cameras shows the deputies struggling with Sherman in the back of an SUV until he’s still and they later realize he’s not breathing. Sherman was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
“The death of Chase Sherman, while tragic in nature, is not a criminal matter and, therefore, will not be prosecuted further under state law,” Coweta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Peter Skandalakis told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (http://on-ajc.com/2dqzdtN) in an emailed statement.
Sherman’s family is “profoundly disappointed” that no charges will be brought against the deputies or an emergency medical technician who is seen in the video leaning on Sherman on the floor of the SUV and is heard saying he has Sherman pinned down, attorney Chris Stewart said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press.
Sherman’s death certificate lists his death as a homicide and the cause as “sudden death during an altercation with law enforcement with several trigger pulls of an electronic control device, prone positioning on the floor of a motor vehicle and compression of the torso by the body weight of another individual.”
“It is apparent that the District Attorney decided to ignore video of the incident and the facts,” Stewart said. “Instead he opted to smear a dead man’s name and avoid doing his job representing the community.”
Stewart said the family plans to file a multimillion-dollar lawsuit. They are also demanding that federal prosecutors open an official investigation into Sherman’s death, he said.