ASHLAND, KY (WOWK) — City officials and Boyd-Greenup County Branch of the NAACP officials met up to discuss the impact that Clarence Wilkerson’s death will have on the community.

The meeting was requested by Reverend Stanley McDonald of New Hope Baptist Church. People at the meeting included McDonald, Reverend JD Crockrel of Christ Temple Church, Marshall Tyson of United Way of Northeast Kentucky, City Manager Michael Graese, Chief of Police Tod Kelley and City Attorney Jim Moore.

A press release from the city of Ashland says the meeting was to ensure open communication between officials and the community and to make sure the communication remains open.

The press release says the members attending, “recognized the grief experienced by the friends, family, and community for Mr. Wilkerson’s passing.”

On Monday, the Kentucky State Police said they were called around 1 p.m., Saturday, March 4, from the Ashland Police Department regarding an in-custody death.

According to the APD, officers saw a man who had warrants out for his arrest. Police say when the suspect saw the officers, he allegedly took off running behind a camper, where he allegedly became entangled and stuck in a fence. The man, later identified as Wilkerson, was then arrested by APD officers.

Officers say while Wilkerson was in custody, he began to complain of “ailments and a medical condition,” and was taken to a medical center, where he later died.

The Kentucky State Police said an autopsy from the Kentucky State Medical Examiner’s office has revealed that Wilkerson’s death was “possibly related to preexisting medical ailments” and not trauma.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Wilkerson’s family retained nationally-known civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump.

Crump’s law office did not state if any lawsuits have been filed but says a bystander video shows Wilkerson allegedly struggling “for several minutes” during the arrest before officers provided medical assistance, as the bystander told officers of her own concerns for Wilkerson’s health.

Crump has been nationally recognized for his role in civil rights and wrongful death lawsuits, including those of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Tyre Nichols as well as lawsuits in the Flint, Michigan, water crisis and the 2019 Johnson and Johnson baby powder lawsuit.

On Tuesday night, Wilkerson’s family held a candlelight vigil in Central Park. At the event, Wilkerson’s mother Sherri Ford, and brother La Juan Wilkerson tell 13 News this is a much bigger issue that goes beyond their personal loss.

“The injustice for other people has to stop, the injustice they did to my son has to stop and somebody will be held accountable,” Ford said after the vigil.

La Juan Wilkerson says he prefers to not have this case revolve around race, but rather the situation in general. “This is not about no black, no white scenario, it could happen to anybody. We fighting for the human race and for c right now. Justice for C!” Wilkerson said Tuesday night.

We reached out to the Ashland Police Department for a comment on the case but have not heard back yet.

The Kentucky State Police say they are currently waiting on the toxicology report and no new information is being released at this time.

The City of Ashland says they are unable to comment on the details or status of the case due to the investigation. They say once, “the investigation is complete, it will be released to the public.”