Attorneys for family of Jonathan Sanders say state medical examiners found he died from homicide by manual asphyxiation.
Witnesses have told Mississippi state investigators that an unarmed black man died after being kept in a chokehold by a police officer for more than 20 minutes and denied CPR, according to his family’s attorneys, who said an autopsy confirmed he was fatally strangled.
State medical examiners provisionally found Jonathan Sanders died through homicide by manual asphyxiation, according to attorneys Chokwe Lumumba and CJ Lawrence.
Sanders, who was 39, repeatedly told Stonewall police officer Kevin Herrington “I can’t breathe”, according to one witness.
According to the attorneys, one witness alleged that Herrington said he was “going to get that nigger” seconds before confronting Sanders in Stonewall on the night of 8 July, and several said the officer was the aggressor. Police have described the encounter as “a fight”.
“We believe there is probable cause for a prosecution,” the attorney Lawrence said in an interview on Wednesday. “A determination should now be made by a jury at an open trial as to whether officer Herrington had any justification for choking Jonathan Sanders to death.”