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Monday, August 5th

Here is your news for Monday, August 5th, sponsored by Toyota of Cleveland:

From the Cleveland Daily Banner…

Autumn Hughes reports: An $11 million lawsuit filed in the death of Billy Joe Rogers, an inmate who died while in custody at the Bradley County Justice Center, has been dismissed. 

Circuit Court Judge Larry Puckett dismissed the case against Bradley County, former sheriff Eric Watson and Gabe Thomas, who was then BCSO Corrections Supervisor captain, in both their individual and official capacities. Thomas is currently Support Services Division captain under Sheriff Steve Lawson.

According to Rogers’ attorney, John M. Wolfe Jr., it appears Rogers got into a “consensual” fight while an inmate at the jail, hit his head on a wall and suffered an aneurysm that resulted in his death.

Puckett’s order related to the lawsuit referred to Wolfe’s “voluntary dismissal of the claims against Gabe Thomas and Eric Watson in their individual capacities …,” as well as granting summary judgment on behalf of Bradley County, Thomas and Watson, and dismissing the claims against Thomas and Watson in their official capacities.

After the case was dismissed, Wolfe indicated little information was shared with him or his client during the investigative stage, including how Rogers died.

From WRCB Channel 3…

The TBI says it needs your help to find a missing man from Harriman. It released a statewide endangered child alert for 18-year-old Brandon Wayne Wright.

Wright has a known medical concern and requires special care. He was last seen at his home in Harriman. 

If you have any information you are asked to call Sergeant Christopher Lee at the Harriman Police Department at (865) 354-8045 or the TBI at 1 (800) TBI-FIND.

Also from WRCB Channel 3…

Tennessee school officials have removed a piece of student art depicting President Donald Trump and the Statue of Liberty after receiving a threat.

According to news reports, the painting has been hung in the hallway of Southwind High School – located just outside of Memphis – since 2016. The painting showed Trump with his mouth covered by white brush strokes and the Statue of Liberty covering her face.

School officials say the painting has not sparked any complaints over the years. However, the painting recently gained attention on social media and the school decided to remove it after receiving a threatening phone call on Friday.

The district says it respects students’ rights to free speech and encouraged students to express themselves “through art or in any other peaceful manner.”

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