Family seeking answers on death of inmate


CLEVELAND DAILY BANNER | Brian Graves | December 23rd, 2016

Tenth District Attorney General Steve Crump said Thursday the case of Billy Joe Rogers’ death at the Bradley County Jail will be presented to the Bradley County Grand Jury upon completion of the investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, as is his policy with any death involving law enforcement or inmates,

His comment to the Cleveland Daily Banner came moments after Rogers’ mother and siblings held a press conference on the steps of the Bradley County Courthouse with their attorney, demanding answers in the death of their family member.

Billy Joe Rogers, 39, had been taken to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga on April 28, following what the TBI said was an altercation with another inmate.

When he was found, he was reportedly nonresponsive, and the Bradley County Emergency Medical Service was called to the scene to render aid.

Rogers was incarcerated for a warrant on failure to appear on a dog-at-large charge (which caused serious bodily injury), according to BCSO Director of Communications James Bradford.

As is standard procedure for events such as this, the BCSO called in the 10th Judicial District Attorney’s office to conduct an investigation into the incident, and Crump then requested the TBI to continue that investigation.

“In turn, we will submit findings to the District Attorney General for his further review and consideration,” TBI spokesman Josh Devine said in a statement at the time.

In response to a request to the TBI on Tuesday for updated information on the case, TBI spokesperson Susan Niland confirmed Tuesday to the Banner that the investigation “remains an active and ongoing one.”

Chattanooga attorney John M. Wolfe Jr., who is representing the Rogers family, said all that is being requested are answers.

“We’re just here to ask questions because the answers have not been forthcoming,” Wolfe said. “They have asked for a meeting with the sheriff, they have asked to see the videotape in the jail and they have been refused both times.”…”