A Black Lives Matter chapter in North Carolina has apologized to the family of a Black man who died last year for demanding the release of jail and body camera footage leading up to his death.
“We apologize for any hurt that our support of the legal petition by several news outlets and publications for the release of this footage may have caused the Neville family or his loved ones,” Black Lives Matter Winston-Salem said on Facebook Thursday. “We want to fully impart to them that we meant no harm in any way, and we wish to honor them and the dignity of John Neville.
In an interview with Winston Salem Journal, his daughter Brienne Neville talked about her father’s love of basketball and commitment to service. Neville, 56, rarely missed a UNC Tar Heel basketball game, volunteered in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and worked in construction.
“He wasn’t perfect. He was human,” she said. “He enjoyed life.”
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Prosecutors said John Neville, 57, died in December due to a brain injury after he was placed face down and restrained by officers in a manner that made him unable to breathe. The family had opposed releasing the footage from Forsyth County jail, but released a statement through their attorneys this week saying they now want the video released, news outlets reported.
Before his death, Neville had been arrested by Kernersville police on a misdemeanor charge of assault on a female. Six people, including five detention officers and a jail nurse, have been charged in connection with his death.
Neville declined a request for comment by the Winston Salem-Journal on the group’s apology.
On Friday, a judge is scheduled to issue a decision on whether to release publicly video footage of the incident at the jail that led to Neville’s death. The family sent out a statement this week supporting the release, and his five children attended a hearing in Forsyth Superior Court on Wednesday.
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