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Black Lives Matter protesters arrested at rally demanding justice for John Neville

The Black Lives Matter group wants the release of video footage after the death of John Neville.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Protesters gathered Wednesday night outside the Forsyth County Detention Center calling for justice in the death of John Neville. 

The Black Lives Matter group wants video footage to be released in Neville's death after he died while in jail.

Winston-Salem police arrested four people during the protest and charged them with impeding traffic. According to a release from the police department, some protesters started walking in the middle of the street. Police said officers gave protesters an initial warning to clear the roadway and three minutes to comply with the request. Police said two more warnings were given to protesters before arrests were made. 

Five former Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office detention officers and a nurse are charged with involuntary manslaughter in Neville's death. 

Officials said Neville, 57, of Greensboro, died on Dec. 2, 2019, at the Forsyth County jail, four days after he was arrested.

Neville was being held on a pending charge of assault on a female.

Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O'Neill said around 3:24 a.m. on Dec. 2, Neville suffered an unknown medical condition while asleep. He fell from the top bunk in his cell and onto the concrete floor.

Jail detention officers and an on-call nurse found Neville who was disoriented and confused. He was then moved to an observation cell.

"It was over the next approximately 45 minutes that Mr. Neville would sustain injuries that would eventually cause him to lose his life," O'Neill said.

The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office and Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough called for the State Bureau of Investigation to investigate Neville's death on Dec. 5, 2019.

The findings of that investigation were turned over to the Forsyth County District Attorney's Office in April. An unreleased video of the incident was turned over as part of that investigation as well.

O’Neill said the video footage will not be released at this time out of respect for Neville’s family and to provide a fair trial for those charged in the case.

Dr. Patrick Lance of Wake Forest Baptist Health conducted Neville's autopsy.

O'Neill said the final report of the autopsy revealed Neville died from a brain injury after he was restrained and choked while in custody.

Lance's report said Neville repeatedly told detention officers he couldn't breathe as they tried to remove his handcuffs.

The five detention center officers charged in this case are:

  • Sarah E. Poole
  • Edward J. Roussel
  • Christopher B. Stamper
  • Lavette M. Williams
  • Antonio M. Woodley

The nurse charged in this case has not been named.

If convicted, all six suspects could face felony charges.

RELATED: 5 former jail officers, nurse charged in Forsyth County inmate's death

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