JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The ACLU of Mississippi has issued a statement about the mysterious death of a 39-year-old black man who died after an alleged fight with a police officer in Stonewall.

Jonathan Sanders died while he was driving a horse and buggy.Chokwe Antar Lumumba, lawyer for Sanders’ family, says relatives believe police are at fault.

The victim allegedly got involved in an incident on July 8, 2015 with Stonewall officer Kevin Herrington.

The ACLU of Mississippi released this statement about the incident:

The ACLU-MS would like to extend our thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of Jonathan Sanders. Unfortunately this case is not an isolated incident. Far too many Black men die every year in police encounters, and many more are seriously injured. People of color are disproportionately affected by excessive use of force at the hands of the police.

At this time we join the community in Stonewall, Mississippi  in noting the importance of increased training for police on excessive use of force and transparency in police practices, especially in regards to interactions with communities of color.

We support the Sanders family and call for complete police transparency and a thorough independent investigation into the death of Johnathan Sanders.  We expect that in the aftermath of this horrible injustice, local law enforcement will fully respect the rights of the community to engage in peaceful assembly, prayer, and protest as they mourn this loss.

A funeral is scheduled for Saturday.