The call came in to the Savannah-Chatham Emergency Dispatch at 1:43 a.m. Jan. 2.
“We have a code blue of an inmate who is not currently breathing,” the caller says.
But what the call make lack in details describing the circumstances of Matthew Ajibade’s death that moment, it still provides a critical marker in the incomplete timeline of his still unexplained death.
The call came 108 minutes after the jail’s watch commander’s log notes a violent incident where Ajibade is tased before overtaking a female guard.
In that 108-minute interval, the log includes entries that the jail administrator and internal affairs are notified, injury reports of deputies involved, and the purported transport via ambulance of the female guard, Sgt. Anza Rowland, to Memorial Health University Medical Center with a broken nose.
After reviewing 12 hours of 911 dispatch recordings, WSAV could find no 911 call for an ambulance for Sgt. Rowland.
What is not entered into the log in that 108-minute gap are any entries listing the condition of Ajibade, his injuries or his placement under a special watch. He had been tased and restrained in a chair with a spit guard.
The log from the same day, however, does include entries noting other inmates under special watch, one in intervals of just five minutes.
Other serious questions remain: what is and what is not entered into the log, the policies governing log maintenance, and the events of Ajibade’s death appearing out of sequence in the log.
WSAV and its attorneys will argue in Chatham County Superior Court that all jail records of Ajibade’s death, including jailhouse video, are not exempt under Georgia’s Open Records Act, because the sheriff’s office is the agency under investigation.
For months, the Chatham County Attorney’s Office has sought to exempt the records from the public arena on the basis they are part of a criminal investigation.
District Attorney Meg Heap, who announced last week she will seek criminal indictments in the case before a grand jury next month, joined Sheriff Al St. Lawrence in filing a motion in court for a declaratory judgment against WSAV to exempt jailhouse records from public dissemination.