ABI clears SPD in death

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 24, 2004

While the Alabama

Bureau of Investigation couldn’t provide a cause of death, they did determine that the Selma Police and jailers didn’t use excessive force or otherwise assault Kirk Edwards on the night he died.

Edwards was arrested on July 8. He later went into convulsions while he was being processed at the Selma Police Department.

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He was transported to Vaughan Regional Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

According to a release from the SPD, the cause of Edwards’ death won’t be known until a toxicology report can be completed by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.

ABI was asked to investigate the incident by Police Chief Robert Green. Green said at the time he wanted to clear up any rumors of misconduct by his officers.

On Wednesday the ABI released a report on their investigation. Attempts to contact spokespersons with the ABI were unsuccessful at the time of publication.

According to Green, the SPD has been cleared of all wrong-doing in the incident.

“They can’t find anything the police did wrong,” he said. “It’s been my contention all along that you can’t find something that’s not there.”

The ABI report coincides with statements from County Coroner Alan Dailey soon after Edwards was pronounced dead.

“There didn’t appear to be any marks on the body that I could see,” Dailey said.

Edwards was arrested on a failure to appear warrant. He was stopped by police when he was seen speeding by an off-duty police officer.

Edwards was pursued by police for a short distance, according to Green. Edwards was finally pulled over at the intersection of Martin Luther King Street and Voeglin Avenue.

He was given a citation without

“He was arrested without incident, there was no force used,” Green said soon after the arrest. “He did not resist.”

Five others were also “captured” in the incident according to Green.

Green expressed condolences to Edwards’ family during a press conference after the incident.

“I know him (Edwards) very well, I know him and his family. I dealt with him when he was younger,” Green said. “I empathize and sympathize with his family”

Green said this was the first such incident he could recall.