“He doesn’t have anyone like Black Lives Matter raising hell on his behalf,” he said. “There’s no advocacy group applying pressure to the powers that be.”
Sherman had no history of mental illness. The family had just returned from his brother's wedding in the Dominican Republic where, according to Mary Ann Sherman, her eldest son had exhibited an uncharacteristic paranoia. He eventually confided to his parents that he had taken Spice a few days before they left Florida.
A toxicology report showed no drugs in Chase’s body. Though he confessed to his parents that he had used the designer drug a few years before, they insist he was no addict. A licensed boat captain, Sherman was subject to random drug tests.
Stewart said Coweta investigators “were more interested in Chase’s history and what may have happened at the wedding” than in the alleged misconduct by deputies Samuel Smith and Joshua Sepanski.
After an initial struggle in which Sepanski said Sherman grabbed his Taser, the deputies — assisted by EMT Daniel Elliot — were able to subdue him. But body camera footage shows the deputies, who remain on the job, shocking Sherman even after he declared "I'm dead!" and "I quit!"
Coweta Sheriff Mike Yeager defended the aggressive response by his deputies, saying they were reacting to Mary Ann Sherman's 911 call in which she told the operator her son "(is) going to kill us all if we don't get help."
Chase’s behavior grew increasingly paranoid after the family arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, say his parents. They decided to rent a car to drive back to Destin instead of catching their connecting flight.
But Chase’s irrationality only escalated. He tried to jump out of the vehicle and at one point bit his fiancee, Patti Galloway, who had traveled with the family.
“He’s not the victim. He’s the perpetrator,” Yeager told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in May.
A spokesman for John Horn, U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Georgia, declined to comment on the case.