VIERA, Fla. - Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump has filed lawsuits against the Brevard County Sheriff's Office and the City of West Melbourne after the death of Gregory Edwards, an inmate who died in custody at the county jail.
Last month, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney cleared jail officers of wrongdoing.
According to his family, Edwards was a U.S. Army veteran who suffered from PTSD. On December 9, 2018, he was arrested following an altercation. He later got into a scuffle with a corrections deputies inside the Brevard County Jail, before he was found unresponsive in his cell. He was strapped in a chair with a mesh bag over his head. Surveillance video of the incident was released after many delays and litigation.
It was announced on Wednesday that Crump has filed two lawsuits, one in federal court against the City of West Melbourne and one in state court against the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.
Around a dozen people gathered outside the Brevard County Jail on Wednesday for a candlelight vigil. They had a moment of silence and spoke about what they called injustice in this case.
"It's very important for the future of our county," said attendee Lisa Kelly
Jessica Travis is one of the attorneys who represented the newspaper Florida Today in its lawsuit against the Brevard County Sheriff's Office to release the surveillance footage of that day. She thinks Crump being on the case will give it momentum.
"What I was able to review of it was pretty consistent from what I saw in the video," she explained. "This case needs national attention."
Sheriff Wayne Ivey has denied any wrongdoing on the part of corrections deputies leading up to the death.
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