9 Georgia deputies fired following death of mentally ill man

Cpl. Jason Kenny, Cpl. Maxine Evans, Pvt. Eric Vinso, Pvt. Frederick Burke, Pvt. Andrew Evans-Martinez, Pvt. Burt Ambrose, Pvt. Paul Folsome, Pvt. Christopher Reed and Pvt. Abram Burns. (Photo Source Chatham County, Georgia)
Cpl. Jason Kenny, Cpl. Maxine Evans, Pvt. Eric Vinso, Pvt. Frederick Burke, Pvt. Andrew Evans-Martinez, Pvt. Burt Ambrose, Pvt. Paul Folsome, Pvt. Christopher Reed and Pvt. Abram Burns. (Photo Source Chatham County, Georgia)

On Friday, May 8, were terminated from employment following the death of Matthew Ajibade, 22, who passed away while in police custody on January 1, 2015. Cpl. Maxine 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 became former employees of the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office following a GBI investigation and an internal affairs investigation.

According to a press release, In a parallel investigation, the Internal Affairs Division of the Sheriff’s Office began a review, not only of the personnel involved, but of the policies of the Department. Upon receipt of the GBI’s completed investigation, approximately two weeks ago, the Sheriff instructed Internal Affairs to again review the actions of the deputies involved as well as the policies of the Department with the evidence obtained by the GBI. In accordance with those investigations, today the Sheriff has taken the following steps: Nine (9) deputies have been terminated from employment as well as Greg Capers, Benjamin Webster and Lt. Debra Johnson. Capers and Webster were terminated for policy violations not related to this incident and Lt. Johnson retired.


Sheriff Al St. Lawrence has instituted policy changes as a result of these parallel investigations. Those changes include:
• New booking procedures to ensure immediate notification to onsite medical personnel when a person with medication arrives for the booking process.
• New security procedures with the jail to audit the use of Taser devices and reconcile such use with standard documentation and current Use of Force policies.
• The Cell Extraction and Removal Team (CERT) will be reviewed and have a renewed focus of discipline and use of non-lethal force.
• A clear written policy of when Tasers may not be used.

Matthew Ajibade (Courtesy: O’Mara Law Group)
Matthew Ajibade (Courtesy: O’Mara Law Group)

Ajibade was arrested after his girlfriend called police, taken to jail, and put in a restraint chair for allegedly fighting with deputies, injuring three of them where he was later found unresponsive.


Ajibade’s family disputes the police report, saying his girlfriend requested that he be taken to the hospital to be treated for a manic episode related to his bipolar disorder.

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