Photo: Getty
  /  08.23.2022

After losing their loved one in May 2021 at the hands of Camden County police, the family of Latoya James has announced a lawsuit against the Georgia county’s sheriff and other officials who played a role in her death.

James was shot and killed by Camden County deputies last year after officials used a battering ram to knock down the door in what the suit describes as “an unjust, predawn raid.”James was 37 years old at the time of her death and her cousin, VarShaun Brown, was wounded as a result of the encounter.

“Latoya James died in an unjust, predawn raid,” said an attorney for the family, Bakari Sellers. “But the Sheriff’s nephew, however, got the benefit of an evening raid where over 13 pounds of methamphetamine, six ounces of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and 17 firearms were reportedly found inside a home. The sheriff has failed Latoya and the district attorney followed suit.”

According to the lawsuit, the incident has been compared to the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in 2020 when Louisville police stormed her apartment and opened up fire, ultimately killing Taylor. “The body camera video makes it clear. These deputies didn’t care that Latoya James was an innocent bystander,” continued another attorney for the family, Harry Daniels. “They didn’t care that she wasn’t even named in the warrant. They didn’t even give them a chance to respond before they broke down the door. They just killed her and blamed her cousin for it.”

Furthermore, attorney Reginald Greene says Camden County Sheriff Jim Proctor and others involved in James’ death must be held responsible. “Sheriff Proctor and District Attorney Higgins may not have the courage it takes to hold the deputies accountable, but we do,” said Greene. “That badge does not give you a license to kill and it’s time these deputies and officers everywhere realized that.”

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