"Tase 'em Tuesday": Taser, Restraint, Pepper Spray Lead to Death in Fulton County Jail

Antonio May dead hours after arrest

March 12, 2019
Autopsy indicates that 32 year old Antonio May (shown with 2 of his 3 sons) died of "excessive force" inside the Fulton County jail on September 11, 2018

(Photo from family of Antonio May)


Antonio May, 32 years old from Macon, was the father of 3 sons, ages 13, 4, and 6. "They are amazing boys", according to family attorney Teddy Reese, "and they will never know what's it's like to have their father at a high school football game, they will never never know what it's like to have their father help them move in for the first day of college orientation."

May died at the Fulton County Jail on Tuesday, September 11, 2018. He'd been arrested that morning, according to another family attorney Michael Harper, "for throwing rocks outside the American Cancer Society building." May was charged with criminal trespass.  He'd been taken to Grady Hospital for medical clearance and was then taken to the Fulton County Jail for booking. According to the lawyers, while he was alone in the holding cell waiting to be sent to general population, an "illegal confrontation" occurred between May and 6 guards resulting in his death.

Now, 6 months later, Reese and Harper, say they have the autopsy results and know the official cause of May's death.

According to a press release from the family attorneys, May died as a result of Sudden Cardiovascular Collapse due to Physical Restraint and the use of Conducted Electrical Devices (Tasers) and Oleoresin Capsicum (Pepper Spray). The autopsy also states, according to the attorneys, that the guards were aware that there were some amphetamines in May’s body at the time of his death, which the lawyers contend, was known by jail staff prior to May being placed in the holding cell, via medical clearance.  Harper and Reese calling that point "crucial because Taser guidelines clearly state that law enforcement should avoid tasing people when amphetamines are in their system in order to prevent cardiovascular issues, which is exactly what happened to Mr. May!" 

The attorneys go on to say that the autopsy also revealed that the guards at the jail used closed fist strikes during their restraint of May, causing abrasions, contusions and soft tissue hemorrhages on May’s body. "These findings prove", according to Harper and Reese, that May "clearly died of excessive force while he was in the holding cell at the Fulton County Jail. Mr. May’s death was tragic and totally unnecessary, and the responsible parties must be held accountable."

The family and the attorneys say they are now waiting to hear from the GBI, FBI, and the Fulton County District Attorney's office as to whether guards at the jail will be prosecuted "for violating federal and/or state criminal laws".

Click below to hear my interview with the attorneys in which they say witnesses told them officers were walking around the jail saying "this is tase'em Tuesday".