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Empty Jury Seats in Courtroom

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Back in 2020, BOSSIP reported on the killing of a Black man named John Neville who was an inmate at Forsyth County jail in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Neville died after being piled upon by five grown-a** officers and put in a restraint hold. When the surveillance video of the incident was released, you could hear Neville screaming “I can’t breathe” as corrections officers tried to put a spit mask on him. Neville told officers he couldn’t breathe at least 30 times.

In response, one of the officers can be heard saying “You can breathe. You’re talking, right?”

One might think that the George Floyd murder would make this case a damn-near slam dunk but that would be far too optimistic.

According to a report in the Winston-Salem Journal, a grand jury has decided that not ONE of the FIVE cops, Lt. Lavette Maria Williams, Cpl. Edward Joseph Roussel, Officer Sarah Elizabeth Poole, Officer Antonio Woodley Jr. and Officer Christopher Bryan Stamper, who helped kill Mr. Neville should face criminal charges. However, they did lay blame at the feet of, wait for it…the jail nurse, Michelle Heughins, for her role in Neville’s death.

An autopsy report said Neville died from a brain injury caused when his heart stopped beating and his brain was deprived of oxygen. He asphyxiated while being restrained with his arms behind his back, and his legs folded.

After being arrested for an assault on an unidentified woman, Neville fell from his top bunk and was reportedly shaking, sweating, and bleeding from the mouth. The incident in question took place when officers attempted to remove him from a restraint chair and handcuffs.

Sean Neville, John Neville’s son, called it “disheartening that the videos of our father gasping for air and begging for mercy while he was bound and suffocated do not seem to have gained any purchase with Forsyth County or Wellpath Care.”

Neville also added to The Charlotte Observer:

“It is shameful that another Black life has been extinguished at the hands of law enforcement and yet still, there is no accountability and no justice. We will continue to fight for what is right and just.”


We’ll be keeping a close eye on this case as the family and lawyers continue to fight for justice.




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