Memorial for Mathew Ajibade
11 AM Saturday, March 7, 2015
Adams Funeral Services
510 Stephenson Ave, Savannah, GA 31405
Mathew Ajibade’s friends knew him as Matt Black -- a smart, charismatic, passionate young man who won the hearts of everyone he met. On Saturday, March 7, Matt would have celebrated his 23rd birthday. Instead, his friends and family will gather for a memorial service to celebrate his life. Matt died on New Year’s Day while in the care of the Chatham County Detention Center.
Those who knew Matt, knew he suffered from bipolar disorder. On January 1st, he experienced a manic episode. Matt’s girlfriend called 911 for help; she wanted an ambulance to take Matt to the hospital, but because she wasn’t specific with dispatch, they sent police instead of medics. Rather than being taken to the hospital, Matt was taken to the Chatham County Detention Center where he died in a restraining chair.
We still do not know why Matt died. This memorial will provide an opportunity for friends and family to express their grief over their loss -- but it will also be a time to demand answers about the circumstances surrounding Matt’s death. It will be an opportunity to start a conversation about how law enforcement handles people with mental illness.
This event is open to the public. It is not just for those who knew Matt, but for anyone who has a concern about how law enforcement engages with people with mental illnesses. It is for anyone who has a concern about how law enforcement engages with young men of color. It is for anyone who wishes to lend their voice to Matt’s friends and family’s call for justice.