WATCH: Brevard Sheriff Wayne Ivey Requests Florida Department of Law Enforcement to Review Gregory Edwards Case
By Space Coast Daily // June 13, 2020
FDLE Special Agent in Charge Lee Massey joined Sheriff Ivey to outline the case review
ABOVE VIDEO: Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey released a special video message on Saturday to address the 2018 Gregory Edwards case.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey released a video message on Saturday to address the 2018 Gregory Edwards case.
In Sheriff Ivey’s message, he discussed the facts of the case and the results from the State Attorney’s office that was released late last year.
Despite the case being closed by the State Attorney’s office, Sheriff Ivey announced Saturday that he requested the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for a case review.
FDLE Special Agent in Charge Lee Massey joined Sheriff Ivey during the video message to outline the scope of the case review.
“At the request of Sheriff Ivey, FDLE will review the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office investigation for the 2018 death of Gregory Edwards. We’ll be reviewing the investigative records and all video the sheriff’s office has on the case,” said Agent Massey.
“We’ll be looking for accuracy and completeness in the investigation. It is important to note, that agents are not reinvestigating this case. We are going to do a complete and impartial review of the work already done by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. Should we find any area of concern, Sheriff Ivey has made it perfectly clear that he would like us to take those concerns directly to the state attorney’s office and ask for their guidance as to how we should proceed.
“This review will begin Monday morning and be completed by one of our special agents with oversight by a special agent supervisor, both working out of the Orlando Regional Operations Center. While this review is taking place, FDLE will not comment on it. We will work as quickly as possible, but I cannot put a timeframe on how long it may take at this point. Once it’s complete, we will share all findings with Sheriff Ivey and our reports will become public record.”
Sheriff Ivey informed the community that “all documents, tape, statements, photos and videos of the arrest with the sole exception of the jail security video, have been released to the public. Some have demanded our agency release the jail security video that is protected by Florida State Statute 119.”
Sheriff Wayne Ivey mentioned that the decision to hand the case over for review was based upon rumors and false accusations that the Sheriff’s Office was acting in bad faith.
“Not only is our ability to investigate the actions of our own being questioned but so is the integrity of our case and the honor and professionalism of the incredible men and women of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Wayne Ivey.
“In this specific case, given the current national environment, continued accusations of a lack of transparency by small group in our community and the fact that Ms. Edwards herself requested a review by FDLE yesterday afternoon, I called the commissioner of the Floor Department Law Enforcement and requested his consideration to conduct a second independent review of our investigation with the first review, of course, having been conducted by the office of the state attorney.
“While I’m extremely confident in the professional actions of our team members, I want to FDLE to have full autonomy and transparency in this case so that no one can further question the integrity and actions of our deputies, our agents or our professionalism,” Sheriff Ivey added.
Last year, the State Attorney’s Office found that the Use of Force by Brevard County Corrections Deputies was ‘reasonable and justifiable’ by state law when an altercation took place at the Brevard County Jail Complex on December 9, 2018.
The report says 38-year-old Gregory Edwards died after he suffered a medical event when he became violent and attacked a BCSO Corrections deputy during booking.
The deputy was seriously injured as a result from the altercation.
After the altercation, deputies subdued Edwards after he physically resisted deputies. When Edwards was eventually back under deputies’ control, he was taken to the hospital when he suffered a medical event.
Edwards died the next day at Rockledge Regional Medical Center.
A medical examiner ruled his death as “accidental and the cause Excited Delirium and Complications.”
Edwards was initially arrested by the West Melbourne Police Department after he allegedly battered a worker at a children’s charity event earlier in the day. Police say Edwards then began acting erratic and combative with the West Melbourne officers during the arrest.
State Attorney Phil Archer says the deputies actions on December 9 were “completely justified the escalation of use of force techniques to gain control.”
Archer continued, “I further commend the deputies and the staff at the jail in the actions they took in attending to Mr. Edwards after it became apparent he was in distress.”
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