Matthew Ajibade, who was bipolar, was arrested on domestic violence charges on January 1, following a fight with his girlfriend. The woman tried to inform the police of his mental health issues and even provided them with a bottle of his prescription medication.
The department claims he became combative and injured three deputies as he was being booked at the station. He was later found dead in restraints inside a solitary isolation cell.
Nine deputies from Chatham County were fired last month in connection with the Nigerian college student’s death, two of whom had been on paid leave for “inappropriate actions” since the incident.
The incident report stated that the restrained man "became combative during the booking process," which led to Ajibade suffering “about” five injuries, including blood inside of his skull case.
“I’m sure he was flailing,” Florida attorney Mark O’Mara, who represents the family, and represented George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case, told CNN. “They got control of him and beat the (expletive) out of him to get control of him.”
Dr. Bill Wessinger, the Chatham County coroner, told CNN that he does not believe any of Ajibade’s injuries would have been fatal on their own, but the combination of injuries to his head and upper body proved to be too much for his body to endure.
The family, who resides in Maryland, and their attorneys did not know that his death certificate had been filed, and did not even know his cause of death until they saw a leaked copy of it on social media, even though Georgia law stipulates that death certificates cannot be obtained by the general public and must be obtained by relatives or their attorneys.
“It’s really disgusting to me,” O’Mara stated. “They owe anybody the common decency of letting them know first how their son died.”
District Attorney Meg Heap has stated she intends to seek a grand jury indictment in regard to the incident.