ROSENBERG - How does a man picked up for 'jay-walking'-- get taken to jail, and just hours later.....he is dead in his cell?
That's what family and friends of 33-year-old Joseph Gunter want to find out.
"I said, 'Well, how did Mr. Gunter allegedly hang himself with his own belt?" community activist Quanell X asked the Rosenberg Chief of Police. "And he said, 'I don't know. Mistakes happen.'"
"He wasn't suicidal," Gunter's niece, Michelle Munoz, insisted. "He was happy. He was coming home."
"Joseph did not do that to himself," Erica Reyes, the mother of Gunter's 12-year-old boy, said. "My son lost his father, and we will get to the bottom of this. We won't stop."
Quanell X wants to see the family find justice, so he and the family met with the Fort Bend County District Attorney's Office and Texas Rangers who have taken over the investigation.
Quanell claims the police department did not follow proper procedure to remove a belt from Gunter when he was checked into the jail.
But he also says other inmates overheard a disturbance with Gunter. "One inmate in particular spoke about hearing a scuffle between Joseph and an inmate," Quanell related. "And the inmate said he irritated the jail staff. And when they came, cuss-words went back and forth. And that was the last time he saw Joseph alive."
Quanell believes Gunter was with jailers when the "scuffle" actually occurred.
"But also, this particular inmate says he was asked to go in and clean up the cell where Joseph's body was found," Quanell continued. "That's a crime scene! That has to be processed by investigators!"
Quanell says he is planning a protest for Friday, and he wants some answers for the family.
As Quanell put it, "He did not kill himself! Draw your own conclusions."