Family wants deputies held accountable after son's death

AP News
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Posted: Mar 10, 2016 7:35 PM

ATLANTA (AP) — The family of a man who died after a confrontation with sheriff's deputies in Georgia says they want the law officers involved in his death to be held accountable.

Mary Ann Sherman said Thursday that the repeated use of the deputy's stun gun and the pressure applied to Chase Sherman's torso with their knees lead to her son's death in the Nov. 20 incident. The Coweta Medical Examiner's office ruled the 32-year-old's death a homicide.

"They put their knees on him enough to suffocate him," Mary Ann Sherman said of her son. "He was handcuffed inside the car," when they used the stun gun on him, she said. "We want to press charges. We want them to be off the streets so it doesn't happen to someone else."

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation released a recording of the 911 call made by Mary Ann Sherman to a dispatcher. She said she was in a car with her husband, her son and the son's girlfriend on southbound Interstate 85 when she noticed her son "freaking out." She said during the nearly 11-minute call that her son had taken a synthetic drug known as "spice."

The mother told the dispatcher that her son was trying to bite his girlfriend. She said they tried to restrain him after pulling off the interstate with their flashers on.

Authorities say Sherman's father and girlfriend tried restraining him until deputies arrived.

"Hit him in the head. Hit him in the head. Or in the stomach. Hit him in the stomach," Sherman yells to her husband and the son's girlfriend during the call.

A Coweta County sheriff's deputy used a stun gun on Chase Sherman during a struggle to restrain him, the GBI said. Officials say Sherman continually resisted and went into medical distress.

"Chase thought he was being kidnapped," said Kevin Sherman, the man's father.

Mary Ann Sherman said the deputies exchanged hand sanitizer then gave each other a high-five after the ambulance pulled away with her son. Chase Sherman was pronounced dead at a hospital.

"Justice needs to be done for what they did to Chase," his mother said.

The Coweta County Sheriff's department did not immediately return a call seeking comment.