On Eve Of Video Release, Sheriff Apologizes To John Neville's Family

On Eve Of Video Release, Sheriff Apologizes To John Neville's Family

5:42pm Aug 04, 2020
Forsyth Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough speaks directly to John Neville's adult son Sean during a press conference Tuesday. PAUL GARBER/WFDD

Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough held a press conference Tuesday in which he apologized to the family of John Neville, less than 24 hours before the scheduled release of video showing the events in the Forsyth County jail that led to Neville's death.

Kimbrough spoke softly as he addressed Neville’s adult son Sean, telling him his father’s death was not in vain.

He said it led to changes at the jail that include improved training and new ways that health care will be given to inmates. Kimbrough said he viewed the surveillance video and it made him cry.

He also offered to rename the wing where Neville was jailed, known as Four South, in his honor.

Neville family attorney Michael Grace also spoke, saying Kimbrough’s words were helpful.

“It won’t bring John Neville back. Nothing that the sheriff or I or any of you could say — ever say — will do that,” he said. “But it goes a way toward causing this terrible scar to heal over again, and the family is appreciative of that.”

Neville died after detention officers restrained him following a fall from his bed during a medical emergency. Five officers and an on-duty nurse face charges including manslaughter in connection with Neville’s death.

The video was not made public at the time those charges were announced, leading to a series of protests. A judge has since ordered it to be released this week.

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