Loved ones remember man who died in Tarrant County Jail

A memorial was held for a man who died in the Tarrant County Jail one day after we learned two fired jailers got their jobs back.

Anthony Johnson, Jr., 31, died last month after an incident at the jail.

The sheriff's office reinstated the jailers this week due to concerns the process for terminating them wasn't followed.

"He did not deserve what he got. He did not deserve that, he did not deserve that," said Craig Jennings, the brother of Anthony Johnson.

Johnson's loved ones gathered for a viewing and memorial service Friday to share fond memories of the young man and Marine veteran.

"I remember I sat up there and told him, 'hey, who's your hero, man' and he was like, 'you know who my hero is, my dad.' That's why he joined the Marines," said family friend Lyndon Moton.

The memorial was also filled with calls for accountability and change,

Johnson died April 21 while in custody at the Tarrant County Jail.

It happened as jailers tried to perform a routine check of his jail cell, leading to a struggle.

Last week, the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office released footage of the incident and terminated two jailers.

"I can't breathe," Johnson can be heard saying in the video.

Sheriff Bill Waybourn said Officer Rafael Moreno should not have kept kneeling on Johnson once he was restrained.


Tarrant County jailers fired after inmate's death reinstated

Two jailers recently fired after the death of an inmate have had their termination withdrawn and are now on administrative leave.

Waybourn also fired Lt. Joel Garcia, a supervisor.

On Thursday, Waybourn revealed both men had been reinstated to their jobs after the District Attorney's Office advised civil service rules had not been followed.

"The Sheriff of Tarrant County should be able to promptly terminate someone when there is evidence of egregious behavior. This is a troubling development, but I want to assure the citizens of Tarrant County that this does not change my commitment to getting justice in this case." Waybourn said in a statement.

"This is something the family shouldn't have been faced with on the eve of their son's funeral," said Daryl Washington, the attorney for Johnson's family. "Quite frankly, to me, it's embarrassing on Tarrant County. You would think that they know the procedures to properly terminate these jailers."

The family wants better care for those dealing with mental illness, something they say Johnson battled.

The family is also requesting that all footage be released in the incident.

It believes more jailers need to be held accountable for not intervening and for changes to policy to keep future people in Johnson's situation safe.

"Those failures you see on TV, when you see those reports, and you see other families going through things you think to yourself 'damn, I couldn't imagine.' Well, I'm in it. I'm in it, and it's a nightmare that I'm never going to be able to escape," said Jennings.