Kevin Desir was 43-years-old when family members say Broward County corrections officers beat him while he was being held by jail staff.
Sercilia Desir says, “My son, they can kill his body but they cannot kill his soul.”
Desir had appeared in bond court just days before he died.
Jeremy McLymont, an attorney for the family said, “Probable cause for marijuana possession turned out to be a death sentence for Rr. Kevin Desir.”
Desir, who was bi-polar, suffered an episode while he was in custody, hurting himself and biting two deputies, BSO officials said.
Deputies placed Desir in a restraint chair and officials said he attempted to kick staff and defeat all efforts to be restrained for his own safety and the safety of staff.
Officials said Desir continued to move about violently until becoming unresponsive and was removed from the restraint chair. He was hospitalized and subsequently died days later.
“too many people in this county dealing with mental illness and when something like this happens to them, excuses are made. They don’t have the family support, so it is brushed under the rug. We have that support,” said relative Moses Desir.
“They need to release the video. There is video. We want the video of what happened to Kevin Desir. We want the video immediately. Stop the cover-up BSO,” said McLymont.
The video is not coming to the family anytime soon. BSO Sheriff Gregory Tony addressed the Broward public defender:
“With respect to your request to release the jail video surveillance, you are keenly aware that the Broward Sheriff’s Office does not and cannot release these records, yet you continue to ask. Jail surveillance cameras are part of the jail’s security system plan, and the recordings from such cameras are confidential and exempt from disclosure pursuant to Florida Statute §119.071(3).”
A court hearing scheduled to attempt to get the video released and the family pressing on.
“Mr. sheriff we are asking for transparency. You were elected for that reason. You guys were supposed to protect and serve him and it ws not done. We need answers,” added Moses Desir.