Family demands answers after man dies in custody at Savannah police headquarters

Crime & Safety

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The family of a man who died in the custody of the Savannah Police Department seeks answers as they mourn his death.

Standing outside police headquarters Friday, where William Harvey died last weekend, family members said the department hasn’t been forthcoming with information.

“He was my lifeline to this world. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it, and that’s why I’m here because I want to know what happened to my child. I want to know. I need to know,” said the 60-year-old’s mother, Shirley Harvey Francis.

She said Harvey was her primary caregiver and only son.

“He saw that I ate. He saw that I took my medicine. He did everything for me,” Francis said.

According to SPD, Harvey took his own life with “an object in his possession” while he was alone inside an interview room.

Harvey’s family says he was found hanged. They’ve hired attorney Mawuli Davis to find out how that’s even possible.

“Because part what we know about an interrogation room is that it is supposed to be a space where there’s an interrogation going on. So that means that there’s supposed to be an officer there,” said the partner at Davis Bozeman Johnson Law Firm.

The case has caught the attention of some of Savannah’s elected leaders including council members Bernetta Lanier, Alicia Blakely and Kesha Gibson-Carter.

“We will demand transparency. We will demand higher standards within this police department, and we will demand the answers that you need,” said Gibson-Carter on the steps of police headquarters.

Davis asks anyone, including police officers, who saw Harvey before or during his time in police custody on Saturday, April 3, to contact his firm.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating Harvey’s death. A spokesperson tells News 3 there are no new updates to report in the investigation at this time.

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