Sheriff: No charges in inmate's death at 201 Poplar - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Sheriff: No charges in inmate's death at 201 Poplar

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - No charges will be filed in the November death of an inmate at 201 Poplar, Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham said Thursday.

According to Oldham, during the early morning hours of November 28, 2010, inmate Edward Jackson was moved into a cell with inmate Richard Dickerson.

Oldham said Jackson woke up around 3:30 am, screamed, "hallelujah hallelujah!" and attacked Dickerson in his sleep.

When jailers tried to break up the ensuing fight, Dickerson cooperated with officers, but a jailer had to spray Jackson with pepper spray, which had no effect.  Oldham said Jackson fought back and wrestled with jailers for between 10 and 15 minutes before they got him in handcuffs and shackles.

After the fight, Jackson was taken to the jail's medical area, where he became unresponsive.  He died at The MED the following day.

According to the Shelby County Medical Examiner, the cause of death was probable mechanical asphyxia, a possible enlarged heart, and possible arterial sclerosis.

Oldham said Jackson's death was classified as a homicide, but that doesn't mean what it sounds like, and that surveillance video proves corrections officers did nothing wrong.

"Anytime humans are involved in a situation that results in a death, that is a homicide," he said. "Death was the result of an accident rather than intention, so there won't be any charges placed on our personnel."

The sheriff says inmates with similar types of charges are housed together.

Jackson was charged with hitting his estranged wife, while Dickerson remains in jail on $2 million bond, charged with killing his girlfriend and stuffing her in the trunk of a car.

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