Reports: Stonewall man died from strangulation - - Jackson, MS

Reports: Stonewall man died from strangulation

STONEWALL, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A deadly encounter in Stonewall, Mississippi has captured national attention.

An attorney for the family of Jonathan Sanders says preliminary autopsy results reveal he died from asphyxiation.

Sanders died July 8 following a physical encounter with Stonewall Police Officer Kevin Herrington. Sanders was driving a horse and buggy in the town before he died.

Witnesses say the 39-year-old man had a words with Officer Herrington at a gas station around 10 pm.  

According to the family attorneys, Herrington allegedly followed Sanders down a dark road as he went home.

The officer reportedly did not have his lights on. Then at some point, according to witnesses, Herrington hit his blue lights, startling the horse. 

Sanders was reportedly thrown to the ground.

Witnesses, who are related to Sanders and saw the incident, say Herrington allegedly put him in a choke hold.

"Actually this is addressing a phenomenon that has been going on around this country. Particularly for the last few years. That is,the phenomenon of an unarmed black and killed by law enforcement," says C. J. Lawrence, one of the family's attorneys

Witnesses say Sanders struggled to escape the choke hold and said he couldn't breathe. He died on the scene.


The officer reportedly told a witness on the scene that Sanders had reached for his gun. 

According to family attorney, Chokwe Antar Lumumba,  "Witnesses said he was saying he could not breathe. One of the witnesses said that they heard him say I cannot breathe twice. I cannot breathe."

Lumumba says he was not arm and that witnesses say he didn't try to reach for the officer's gun.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is the lead agency in this case and the FBI is reportedly involved. The case remains under investigation.

No charges have been filed against the Stonewall police officer.

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