Family claims excessive force in death of man in the custody of Rankin County deputies

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 8:13 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2021 at 8:14 PM CDT
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BRAXTON, Miss. (WLBT) - A Rankin County family says excessive force was used when deputies arrested a man who died in their custody. MBI is now investigating the death of Damien Cameron. Relatives say a graphic picture of his injuries proves his treatment was uncalled for.

“He was laying right there in that mud puddle,” said Betty Cameron while pointing to the dirt driveway in front of her Braxton home.”

The 73-year-old said her grandson, Damien Montrell Cameron, was dying beside a Rankin County Deputy’s SUV Monday evening after being tased twice and assaulted. Deputies went to Cameron’s Foote Drive home to question him about a burglary. James and Betty Cameron said they were home when a deputy chased Damien into the house and struggled with him in a bedroom.

“That was just unreal. It shouldn’t have been that way,” said Betty Cameron. “I don’t know how he got that in his face because I didn’t see that part. I don’t know whether he did it when he got him in the car, but they never left the yard”.

The couple says their grandson complained of not being able to breathe when a second deputy placed his knee on the back of Damien’s neck. They said he fell twice before being placed in the vehicle.

“I said what happened,” said grandfather James O. Cameron. “He said he wasn’t responding when we put him in the car. He wasn’t responding, and so he kept pumping and pumping about 20 or 30 minutes on him”.

James Cameron said he was in the yard when he heard one deputy crying.

“I didn’t walk right up on him, but I could hear him and see him crying,” said the grieving grandfather. “You know just hear him crying ‘Oh Lord why this have to happen to me? Why me.”

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety is not commenting on the ongoing investigation. Captain Johnny Poulos said all investigative findings will be turned over to the District Attorney for review.

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