Family Wants Justice After Son Died in Police Custody

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Dozens of protesters gathered outside of Tuscaloosa Police Department Monday demanding more information be released in the death of Kendrell Watkins, who died while in police custody on Aug. 15.

Watkins’ family initially called police after the 31-year-old damaged property inside their home.

Tuscaloosa Police Chief Brent Blankley said officers had to use a taser to subdue Watkins after he ran naked into an intersection.

Watkins was taken to DCH Northport for evaluation, and he died more than an hour after his arrival at the hospital.

Blankley said Watkins told medical technicians he had smoked “Mojo”, which is synthetic marijuana, earlier in the day.

Those protesting Watkins’ death said they will protest at University of Alabama football games and “all city events,” until they “get justice.”

These protesters are also calling for the resignation of Tuscaloosa Police Chief Brent Blankley and the two officers involved in the arrest of Watkins.

“I want justice for my son,” said Watkins’ mother Mable Parham. ” I want those officers without a job if it takes it because my son’s life is gone. He can’t come back.”

Following the protest, Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit Commander Captain Jack Kennedy released any updated statement on the Watkins case which said:

“The Kendrell Watkins investigation is proceeding normally. From the beginning, this case has been investigated according to established protocols within Tuscaloosa County.  This includes being investigated by personnel not employed by the Tuscaloosa Police Department.

“The official autopsy report from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences is currently still pending. Once that report has been received, the case can be completed and will be forwarded to the District Attorneys’ Office for presentation to an impartial grand jury.”

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