Man who died after fight with police suffered from PTSD, brother says
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -
Jerome Christmas died Saturday after a struggle with Shreveport police, and while witnesses said he was acting wild before it happened, his brother knew a completely different person.
Witnesses say they saw Jerome Christmas go crazy, throwing things, getting undressed, talking to himself, and acting as though he was on fire. Christmas' brother Drake said his brother was a veteran who served his country, and suffered from PTSD.
Now he's left to explain the actions that ultimately led to his brother's death.
Drake said Jerome was being treated at the VA hospital for his PTSD. The events that led to his death started Saturday at the Shreveport Teen Challenge, a rehab center in the 1100 block of Highland Avenue.
Drake said Jerome was the reason he spent 24 years in the military.
"He coached and mentored me through everything," Drake said. "We lifted weights together, we worked out. He made all-state in football three years in a row, I made all-state in football two years in a row. Perfect example, perfect example of a brother you'd want to follow."
Drake retired from military service recently. His late brother, Jerome left the service in the early 90s and Drake said has been struggling with PTSD ever since.
"Some of the effect that I knew of is that he had problems being around people and sometimes when he would get under pressure he didn't know how to deal with it," Drake said. "He would often tell me that he would be paranoid, he couldn't sleep at night sometimes.
"No none of us are violent and I don't see how the police can say he was violent."
At least seven witnesses say they saw the whole thing. They said officers used excessive force while trying to subdue the man.
Jerome leaves behind six children and a loving family and he says they still have a lot of questions about Jerome's death.
"I have a 68-year-old mother that's taking this very hard," Drake said. "He has a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old, what we are going to tell them about their father, how we can answer them about their father. We don't know anything we can't tell them anything."
The investigation into Jerome Christmas' death is ongoing.