9 cops fired in connection with death of 21-year-old

Posted at 8:30 PM, May 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-08 22:30:18-04
Joshua Berlinger


ATLANTA (CNN) — Nine Georgia deputies have been fired in connection with the death of a 21-year-old student in Savannah, Georgia, authorities announced Friday.

The firings are related to the case of Matthew Ajibade, who died in an isolation cell on New Year’s Day, said Gena Bilbo, the Chatham County Sheriff’s spokeswoman.

Two of the nine deputies who were fired had been on paid leave.

Ajibade, who was from Nigeria, was arrested on January 1 after police received a phone call about a domestic disturbance.

Authorities arrived and saw Ajibade holding a women under a blanket, according to an incident report. Her “face was bruised, and her nose was bleeding,” the report said.

The Sheriff’s Office said Ajibade “became combative during the booking process.”

His family has hired Mark O’Mara, a CNN legal analyst who represented George Zimmerman in the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

Ajibade had bipolar disorder, O’Mara said.

After Ajibade’s death, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Affairs Division of the Sheriff’s Office began separate reviews. The district attorney is still reviewing the case and will decide if criminal charges are warranted, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office also announced policy changes it intends to pursue as a result of the incident, including procedures that require on-site medical personnel to be notified when a person with medication arrives for booking.

CNN’s Kevin Conlon and Devon M. Sayers contributed to this report

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