Update: Man Dead After Officer Involved Struggle in Humboldt
HUMBOLDT, Tenn. — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has opened an investigation to determine why a man is dead after a struggle with officers in Humboldt, Thursday night. According to the Humboldt Police Department, around 8:41 p.m., officers saw a man identified as Eddie Ray Epperson running in the streets “in a dangerous manner”. Officers noted he was almost struck by a car and appeared to be intoxicated. When officers caught up with him, investigators said Epperson became aggressive by shoving one of the officers. Police said he then started to resist and fight the officers. While trying to get Epperson under control, he suddenly became unresponsive, according to police. “it’s ridiculous I’ve never heard him upset or angry I’ve never seen anybody having to restrain him so I don’t understand why it would take that much to retrain someone who is well-known throughout the community,” said family friend Chelsea Williams. Epperson’s family said according to their doctors, Epperson suffered a massive heart attack. He was taken to a local hospital after the struggle then transferred to Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, where he later died. Family members said he was in good health and had no history of heart problems. “We really want answers, we want answers more than anything,” said brother John Epperson. “Witnesses was telling me they seen the officers tazed Eddie several times you know so that’s not making any sense.” Assistant Police Chief Bill Baker said officers in Humboldt do not carry tazers. Family members said they plan on requesting an autopsy. “It’s just really sad that he had to lose him life over something like this,” said Ninnekha Woodruff, Epperson’s sister-in-law. The investigation was opened at the request of District Attorney General Garry Brown. The department is not releasing the names of the officers involved. Police Chief Raymond Simmons said they were on routine administrative leave.