Nine deputies from the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office were fired over the death of an inmate who was arrested for a domestic assault and taken to Chatham County Jail in Savannah, Georgia. The firings come on the heels of an investigation of the incident by the department’s internal affairs department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI). Matthew Ajibade (22) was placed in a restraining chair in an isolated room where he was later found unresponsive on January 1, 2015. Although the cause of the death, and the results of the autopsy have not been disclosed, the sheriff has said that new policies have since been instituted regarding the use of Tasers on detainees who are in “full restraints”. The sheriff’s comments seem to suggest that a Taser was used when Ajibade was constrained. If this turns out to be true, criminal charges, including some type of murder, or voluntary or involuntary manslaughter charges could be brought against one or more of the deputies. The case is likely going to be presented to a grand jury.
Ajibade was an artist and college student in the area and often went by the name of Matt Black. He was arrested on charges of battery and obstruction on January 1st. The alleged victim of the assault informed the police of his medication needs at the time of the arrest and family members have said that he should have been taken to a medical facility instead of jail. New policies regarding the notification of medical personnel about medication needs have been implemented by the Sheriff. The sheriff’s office had said previously that Ajibade had become combative during the booking process. The nine deputies terminated are: Cpl. Maxime Evans; Cpl. Jason Kenny; Pvt. Eric Vinson; Pvt. Abram Burns; Pvt. Christopher Reed; Pvt. Burt Ambrose; Pvt. Paul Folsome; Pvt. Frederick Burke; and Pvt. Andrew Evans-Martinez.