VIERA, Fla. – The 1-year-old son of U.S. Army veteran Gregory Lloyd Edwards, who died after an altercation with deputies at the Brevard County jail in 2018, was pronounced dead Thursday after being hospitalized for several days when he was found in a pool, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.
According to Brevard County Sheriff’s Office reports, detectives and crime scene technicians are investigating to “determine the circumstances related” to the death of the 18-month-old child.
“The Sheriff’s Office expresses condolences to the family of the infant during this difficult time,” according to a statement provided by BCSO spokesman Tod Goodyear.
Kathleen Edwards, the child’s mother and Gregory Edwards’ widow, called 911 around 9 a.m. June 28. A family friend had said the family believed the child was going to play in the playground outside but instead found him in the pool, which had a tarp-like covering on it.
Deputies and medical technicians performed CPR at the scene before detectives obtained a search warrant for the home. The child was transported to a Fort Pierce hospital in critical condition.
Edwards was arrested in December of 2018 after getting into a physical altercation with two people at a West Melbourne Walmart. His wife told the arresting officers she believed her husband was experiencing an episode related to his post-traumatic stress disorder.
Edwards was detained and taken to the Brevard County Jail where he fought with corrections officers. In the course of the altercation, Edwards was kneed, punched, pepper sprayed, Tased, and strapped into a restraint chair with a spit hood over his head and pepper spray still on his face. He was left alone in a cell unattended for nearly 16 minutes before being found unresponsive.
Edwards died the next day at the Rockledge Regional Medical Center. His official cause of death was listed as excited delirium.
State Attorney Phil Archer found last year that the deputies' use of force was justified.
Family, friends and activists have called for the release of the jail video showing Edwards. Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has said the video will not be released publicly, citing security reasons, but has offered to allow Edwards’ widow to see the footage.