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.