The family of a man who died in a shooting last year is suing McComb police, saying they could have prevented his death.
Demarcus Brown, 33, of McComb, died after the Aug. 8, 2019, incident at the intersection of North Locust Street and Avenue F Extension. Police arrested Gerrick Matthews, 33, 1002 Avenue E Extension, McComb, hours later and charged him with murder.
Brown’s mother, Stephanie Barnes of McComb, filed a civil lawsuit in Pike County Circuit Court last month against the city of McComb, the police department and John Does 1-8. She filed the suit both individually and on behalf of Brown’s wrongful death beneficiaries and heirs at law.
According to the lawsuit, which represents one side of a legal argument, police arrived at the scene to find Brown wounded on the ground after being shot several times, but conscious and able to speak to them.
“The police placed handcuffs on Mr. Brown. At that time, Mr. Brown was effectively in custody and the police had a duty to provide aid/medical assistance,” says the suit, which does not identify the officers.
“During the police’s interaction with Mr. Brown, the police did not attempt to provide first aid or administer any other type of life-saving measures. Furthermore, the police did not allow the paramedics to enter the area under the guise of securing a crime scene — while Mr. Brown struggled for dear life and bled out. Sadly, this was done while civilians had to stand by and watch (and record) Mr. Brown die.”
The lawsuit alleges the officers violated city policy by not providing medical assistance to Brown or allowing emergency medical personnel to do so.
“Even after it was clear that the scene was secure, the police officers walked around the area looking for evidence while Mr. Brown was bleeding out without any medical assistance whatsoever.”
A police news release at the time said, “The victim was transported by AAA Ambulance Service to Southwest Medical Center where he later died from his injuries.”
Terris C. Harris of the Cochran Firm-Jackson in Ridgeland represents Brown’s family.
City attorney Angela Cockerham declined to comment since the matter is in litigation.