Attorneys for the family of Jonathan Sanders have told Mississippi state investigators that the unarmed black man died after being kept in a chokehold by a police officer for more than 20 minutes and then being denied CPR. The lawyers also called the death racially motivated.

According to The Guardian:

State medical examiners provisionally found Jonathan Sanders died through homicide by manual asphyxiation, according to attorneys Chokwe Lumumba and CJ Lawrence.

Sanders, who was 39, repeatedly told Stonewall police officer Kevin Herrington “I can’t breathe”, according to one witness.

According to the attorneys, one witness alleged that Herrington said he was “going to get that nigger” seconds before confronting Sanders in Stonewall on the night of 8 July, and several said the officer was the aggressor. Police have described the encounter as “a fight”.

“We believe there is probable cause for a prosecution,” the attorney Lawrence said in an interview on Wednesday. “A determination should now be made by a jury at an open trial as to whether officer Herrington had any justification for choking Jonathan Sanders to death.”

The attorneys are requesting that a special prosecutor take over the case, citing remarks at a town hall meeting on Tuesday by Clarke County’s district attorney, Bilbo Mitchell, that he had handled 15 cases of killings by police during his career and none had resulted in an officer being indicted.

Read the full story here.

–Posted by Roisin Davis

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