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FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- - The family of a Fort Pierce man who died three days after being arrested in physical confrontation with St. Lucie County Sheriff's deputies is demanding answers, marching on Thursday night to gain attention.
Hundreds gathered near the intersection of 21st Street and Avenue "I" where they then marched to the convenience store where James Anderson was initially arrested.
What started as a march full of song, quickly shifted into chants of anger as family members shouted for justice.
"That's a piece of my heart that I will never get back. That's a piece of my heart that nobody can fill," said Reneshia Moodie, Anderson's sister.
According to an officer narrative, when Anderson was pulled over on April 24th for not wearing his seatbelt, he ran.
Investigators said when they tried to arrest Anderson, he tried to break free. The deputy punched Anderson in the face and continued to struggle to arrest Anderson and keep him on the ground. Investigators then said Anderson broke away one more time before being tackled and arrested.
"We're not saying J.C. wasn't wrong for running. But running should not end in death," said Moddie.
Anderson's family said after he was released from jail, he was hospitalized and died on April 27th, just three days after being arrested.
"The sheriff's department is going to have to give us some answers. We don't really know what to say right now. But I'll tell you what, it don't appear to be right," said Christopher Williams, a Fort Pierce community activist.
The sheriff's office emailed this statement:
"The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office is examining the circumstances of Mr. James Calvin Anderson's interaction with members of the Sheriff's Office April 24, 2013, and subsequently."
The family of Anderson said they just want answers as to what really happened.
"We can't have that closure knowing that our brother possibly could have been beaten to death," said Moodie.
The family and investigators are still waiting for results of an autopsy.
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