It’s been one month and a Texas man remains on life support following his release from jail. Now the man’s relatives say they have more questions than answers about how their loved one wound up in critical condition.
Sheriff’s deputies arrested Chester “CJ” Jackson Jr. outside his home on April 19 and booked him into the county jail on a public intoxication charge, local station KBTX reported.
Jackson’s family said they were alerted to his release the next day. However, when their mother went to the Burleson County jail, officials would not let her see him. A justice of the peace then informed the family that Jackson would be held for longer because of his “mental state,” according to KAGS-TV
A full 48 hours would pass before relatives learned the father of three was in a coma at an Austin-area hospital, some 80 miles away. The family’s attorney, U.A. Lewis, said Jackson also had small puncture wounds resembling taser prongs all over his body.
The Somerville man is still fighting for his life, and now his family suspects a cover-up after the Burleson County Sheriff’s Office failed to give them any explanation as to what happened.
“All these facts point to foul play, by each person involved with the custody and care of CJ,” Lewis said. “It’s evident by the withholding of information to his family.”
Last month, a department spokeswoman said that a deputy had “provided a courtesy transportation to a MHMR facility in Austin” for Jackson on the day he was released from jail.
“He was no longer in our custody,” investigator Christine Labertew told KBTX in an email dated April 29.
What occurred after that remains a mystery that Jackson’s family hopes to solve.
Sheriff Thomas Norsworthy has promised to release security footage of Jackson entering and leaving the facility in good health, but so far police haven’t made public any of the recordings. Norsworthy didn’t respond to Atlanta Black Star’s questions about when the footage might be released.
On Monday, members of Black Lives Matter Houston, along with Jackson’s family and friends, gathered outside the sheriff’s office to demand justice in the case. There was also a news conference.
“We will get answers,” activist Ashton Woods told the crowd. “And when we do, if there was any foul play, which I believe there is, we make sure that those involved are brought to justice.”