South Georgia Man Found Dead Under the Custody of Cairo Police

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December 8th, 2014

A South Georgia man is dead hours after being pepper sprayed and arrested.

Franklin Lee was arrested Friday night at a Hardee's Restaurant in Cairo and found dead hours later.

"You're not publicly intoxicated and an hour later you've passed," said Tabitha Whitfield, niece of Franklin Lee.

Things started with the Cairo Police Department getting a call about Lee being publicly intoxicated.

Officers on scene say Lee resisted arrest and was pepper sprayed.

He was then taken to the Grady County Detention Center.

"At the Grady County Jail he was decontaminated from the pepper spray, his eyes were washed down and all the pepper spray was removed from his body, he was placed in a holding cell at the Grady County jail and about 9:40 p.m. a Grady County jailer found him in his cell unresponsive," said Steve Turner of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Lee was taken to Grady General Hospital, and died less than an hour later.

Lee's family says it doesn't add up.

"I've watched a video where he is put in hand cuffs with his hands behind his back, I mean put in hand cuffs and I don't see any resistance at all. I want to know what happened outside of those doors after that," said Whitfield.
The Cairo police department declined to be interviewed.

The Lee family meanwhile, still has a lot of questions.

"A good, a good person you know so i don't understand why this would happen to him or any body else for that matter, I just don't feel like he was treated fairly," said Whitfield.

An autopsy will be performed on Lee's body to determine the cause of death.

The Cairo Police Department declined to comment since the case was turned over to GBI.

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