Skip to content

Mississippi man dies after police officer calls him ‘N-word’ and chokes him for 20 minutes


Photo credit: WTOK

Jonathan Sanders is the latest unarmed Black person to die while in police custody. According to the Jackson Free Press, the ordeal began when Sanders, 39, witnessed police officer Kevin Herrington arguing with a man at a gas station in Stonewall, Mississippi. Sanders asked Herrington to leave the man alone.

After the altercation, a witness said Herrington looked at Sanders and said, “I’m gonna get that n—.” Herrington eventually got in his car and followed Sanders. Sanders was riding a horse and buggy on a rural road when he was stopped by Herrington.

Herrington pulled Sanders down off the horse and placed him in a chokehold. Sanders was on his knees as Herrington kept a tight grip on his neck. Several witnesses surrounded the officer including a correctional officer. The correctional officer pleaded with Herrington to let Sanders go as he whispered, “I can’t breath” while gasping for air.

However, Herrington told the correctional officer that Sanders reached for his gun. Herrington kept Sanders in the chokehold for 20 minutes. By the time paramedics arrived, Sanders was dead.

Herrington then told his wife, who witnessed the murder while in his car, to remove his weapon from his holster.

An autopsy proved Sanders died from “manual asphyxiation” and his death was a homicide. Herrington remains free and has yet to be arrested or indicted. He could possibly remain free until the end of August when the next grand jury in Clarke County will meet.

Sanders earned a living by training and selling horses. He was preparing for an upcoming rodeo.


  1. kelly on July 17, 2015 at 9:39 am

    well if this one is not indicted its gonna be bigger than eric garner case , mississippi will burn trust that , white cops are worst down south than anywhere from texas on down to deep south , they are horrible , georgia misssppi alabama lousianna too . south carolina too … they still feel intitled to harrass and intimidate blacks there , people are real scared of cops right now cause these incidents been happening for years , the police organization state and local know bout these choke holds , and the only reason a man subbcomb is because he either will be shot running or spend time in prison for assaulting a cop .. its just not fair to citiizens . what do we do .. its tricky cause cops have to know combat and protection , , but thisi s not protecting the cop this is racism , harrassment , torture , and unjust, MARCHING AND PROTESTING IS NOT WORKING TO GOOD THERE NEEDS TO BE LEGISLATION FROM SUPREME COURT PASSED TO EXECUTE ANY COP FOUND TO MURDER A CITIZEN .. AND THE GRAND JURY ABOLISHED . . .we dont need them let the court decide if these police are doing their jobs . .this man was not .. .an innocent man is dead again now what will whites claim this man did wrong I BET YOU HE WOULD NOT HAVE PULLED A WHITE MAN DOWN OFF THAT HORSE FOR VOICING HIS OPINION? NOT EVEN .. . if they aint shooting up a theater of children or shooting up a school they getting out the military destroying lives ..

  2. kelly on July 17, 2015 at 9:40 am

    there goes another millions of dollars out the pocket of mississippi to pay this family off .. they have a right to sue for sure THIS WAS MURDER

  3. Ronnie Bangé on July 17, 2015 at 11:11 am

    This is a murder.

  4. Jason on July 18, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    This story sounds like a fable. How in the world could all those witnesses including a correctional officer stand around and let this officer kill a man and then the officer not immediately be arrested on the scene? I guess the correctional officer had left the scene before the cops and EMTs showed up? The story says the correctional officer “pleaded” for the cop to let the guy go. Does anyone in MS know the definition of the word pleaded? Does the police department know the definition of pleaded? At some point – people need to know that murdering Black folks in the street won’t go unpunished.

    • d. yucha on July 20, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Jason…. Tell that to all the brothers. They didn’t get the memo. Princess !

  5. Noff Memphis on July 18, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    The police said that the man went for his gun…well…He can’t go for a gun when he was being choked which meant that the threat was eliminated and there was no need to continue choking, which I thought was illegal in the first place. This was a homicide and should be investigated as such.