Lisa Edwards' Family Says Knoxville Police Officers Belong in Hell

The family of Lisa Edwards, who died in custody earlier this month, have said the police officers involved in her detention belong in hell.

Edwards, 60, told the Knoxville Police Department in Tennessee she was having a stroke while she was being arrested. She subsequently died in police custody, according to reports.

Edwards, who used a wheelchair and was physically disabled, was discharged from Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center on February 5 but refused to leave. This resulted in security calling the police to remove her.

Police Car
Stock image of a police vehicle. Lisa Edwards died in police custody earlier this month and her family have taken to social media to say the police officers involved belong in hell. Getty

The Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center gave this statement to WATE 6 News: "Although we cannot comment on specific details, patients are not discharged from the emergency room unless they are stable."

Edwards' family has spoken out at their frustration and disgust at the manner in which she was treated by police during the subsequent altercation.

Speaking to WATE 6 News, Edwards' daughter-in-law August Boylon questioned why police thought Edwards was faking her symptoms and said it was clear that she was having a stroke and needed attention.

According to the family, this criticism has resulted in people questioning the family's dedication to Edwards' care, sparking the family to release a statement on Facebook on the 'Justice for Lisa Edwards' page.

On Facebook, Boylon wrote: "As her family we want to put this out there...again, in different words. Lisa was a PHYSICALLY disabled ADULT who could make her own decisions.

"She wanted as much control over her life as she could and we respected that! She made the choice, that was hers to make regardless of what we thought, to move back to TN with a friend.

"We live in RI...880 miles away...and were NOT contacted by either hospital.
She DID have her own wheelchair which had been left behind at the airport when she was taken by rescue from there.

"To anyone who continues to disrespect our family, hell has a special place for you...right next to the officers and security guards who tortured her!"

On February 23 the Knoxville Police Department released the body-cam footage of Edwards being arrested.

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon issued a press release about the police releasing the footage.

It read: "The video includes body-camera footage of the initial interaction with Ms. Edwards, body-camera footage of officers taking her into the custody, and in-car, rear-facing camera footage from the time she was placed into the back of the cruiser until she was found unresponsive.

"The link does not include all of the police video footage captured during the event. In the interest of timeliness, the KPD has included the most pertinent video in order to better inform the public of the circumstances."

The press release also said that while the District Attorney's Office will not seek criminal prosecution, the ongoing internal administrative investigation will move forward.

This investigation will look at whether any departmental policies or procedures were violated during the altercation.

The officers involved in the incident have been identified and remain on paid administrative leave. They were identified as Sergeant Brandon Wardlaw, Officer Adam Barnett, Officer Timothy Distasio and Transportation Officer Danny Dugan.

The police department has also extended its "most heartfelt condolences" to the Edwards family.

Newsweek has contacted the Edwards family and the Knoxville Police Department for comment.