FDLE considers opening an investigation into inmate death

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) tells FOX 35 News that the agency has received a request to investigate the death of Greg Edwards. 

They added that they are reviewing the request and will take the next couple of weeks to decide if they will open a case.  Just the fact that that FDLE is thinking it over is encouraging to the victim's loved ones.

"We’ve been trying for almost a year now to get some higher beings to get involved in the case," said Dana Jackson, close friend, neighbor and fellow veteran.

Jackson said this week's development is a glimmer of hope for the group pushing for more information.  They are on a quest to get new eyes on the death case that occurred inside the Brevard County Jail. 

FOX 35 News examined the story of combat veteran Greg Edwards two weeks ago. That's when a grassroots effort kicked into high gear. The group of concerned citizens including the NAACP and the Brevard Democrats are calling for an outside investigation.

Edwards was brought to the jail in December of 2018. He had gotten into trouble at a West Melbourne Walmart, according to investigators. The Brevard County Sheriff's Office said he was attacking a truck driver. Then the Sheriff's Office said when they were trying to process him into the jail he was being violent, so they tased him and used pepper spray on him.  He died later at an area hospital.

In a letter from the Florida Governor's Office to the group, staffers said the request for an independent investigation has been referred to FDLE's Inspector General. 

FDLE said it will consider what to do next, there may or may not be further investigation, but Dana Jackson said she is glad they have gotten to this point.  She said the letter is an indication they are being heard.

"Greg was a very good man, but I think being in the Army, he came home with baggage that he had to deal with...and I think during that incident it kind of caught up with him," Jackson said.

The State Attorney's Office in Brevard County looked at this and found that the deputies and corrections officers were justified in how they handled Edwards.

The Sheriff's Office pointed to that decision when asked for their comments.