Brevard County

Video released in case of Brevard veteran who died while in custody in 2018

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Nearly two years after Gregory Edwards' death the Brevard County sheriff’s office has released the video showing the last moments of his life.

The sheriff’s office initially refused to release the video but agreed to release it to the public following a court settlement.

Edwards was arrested on battery charges on Dec. 10, 2018, following an incident in a West Melbourne Walmart parking lot.

At the time his then-pregnant wife told police he was a combat medic with diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder.

READ: Restraint device nicknamed ‘The Devil’s Chair’ used in jails across Central Florida: Why critics want it banned

Deputies said Edwards was combative when he was taken to jail, leading him to being pepper-sprayed, tased, and then put into a restraint chair with a spit hood while he was being booked into the jail.

An internal affairs investigation cleared Brevard deputies of any excessive force, but the sheriff initially said they would not release the video from inside the jail, citing security exemptions and concerns.

READ: Corrections officer charged with murder following death of inmate at Lake Correctional Institution

Sheriff Wayne Ivey defended the actions of deputies who he says were reacting after Edwards tried to choke a deputy and knocked him unconscious and would not stop fighting.

“Not only did our deputies do nothing to cause Edwards death, but they also did everything they could to keep him from being harmed or from injuring himself or anyone else,” Ivey said.

IT’S TIME FOR “TRUTH BE TOLD”

IT’S TIME FOR “TRUTH BE TOLD” As previously discussed, today’s episode of “Truth Be Told” will describe and review the Brevard County Jail Security Video of December 9th, 2018, as authorized by the court for release. Over the course of the past 22 months the Florida Today has written in excess of 57 articles, many of which misrepresented the facts and attacked the integrity and professionalism of our Corrections Deputies, the Medical Examiner, our State Attorney, State of Florida Medical Examiners’ Commission and even the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. All due to the fact that each of these agencies failed to support the inaccurate representations and narrative as reported by the Florida Today. In fact, even the Florida Today’s own expert witness, Dr. Roy Bedard, an expert in defensive tactics and response to resistance, testified to the fact that our Deputies’ response and use of force to Edward’s violent attack on Deputy Otto was appropriate as Edward's was fighting the entire time. Dr. Bedard also found that our use of the restraint chair based upon Edwards’ violent actions was appropriate as well!! So in this episode of “Truth Be Told” you will be able to evaluate for yourself just how our team actually responded when Gregory Edwards violently attacked Deputy Brian Otto and how the Florida Today has mislead our citizens in their reporting of this incident!! To more thoroughly review the investigative reports, internal investigation, audio recordings of the inmate interviews who witnessed the incident, and the full-length Jail security video please visit our website at brevardsheriff.com and as always thank you for your trust and support of the incredible members of our agency!! Sheriff Wayne Ivey

Posted by Brevard County Sheriff's Office, Florida (Official) on Thursday, November 12, 2020

Dana Jackson, a representative for the Edwards family, said what happened to Gregory should never have taken place.

“What happened to Greg shouldn’t have happened. He walked into that jail and he should have walked out of that jail and he did not,” Jackson said.

The Edwards family says they will continue to push for justice for Gregory and other families who have lost loved ones while in custody.


Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.