Family of man who died after struggle inside Wayne Co. jail files federal civil rights lawsuit

WAYNE COUNTY, NC (WITN) - The family of an inmate who died after a struggle with officers in the Wayne County jail has filed a civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit in federal court.

Graydon Parker III, of Goldsboro, was arrested back on May 20, 2017, for breaking into a car. Police said the 54-year-old man refused to cooperate and continued to struggle with officers at the jail.

The lawsuit says at the time Parker was having a psychiatric emergency, that he was sprayed multiple times with pepper spray, stripped naked, and placed in a 6' by 7' cell by himself for nine hours.

It claims Parker was eventually brought to a jail shower room after he smeared feces in his cell. The lawsuit says the man was "extensively sprayed" with pepper spray and hot water. After getting upset, Parker "was thrown to the floor and repeatedly kicked, stomped, and punched" by five officers.

Instead of getting medical help, the lawsuit says Parker was hog-tied with handcuffs, leg shackles, and a hobble restraint. He was then shocked with a stun gun, according to the lawsuit, while officers kicked and stomped him.

The complaint says Parker suffered sudden cardiac arrest and was unconscious when taken to the hospital. The man died the next day.

Named in the lawsuit is Wayne County, Sheriff Larry Pierce, nine detention officers and a state trooper.

Through a spokesman, neither Wayne County nor the sheriff had any comment saying this is a pending lawsuit.