Legislation enforcement officers concerned within the dying of Georgia mom in the course of the raid won’t be charged, prosecutors say

Brunswick, Ga. – Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Keith Higgins announced Wednesday that law enforcement officers involved in an incident that led to the death of Latoya James during a drug bust last year will not be charged with a felony.

James was shot dead while Camden County lawmakers were serving a search warrant on US 17 near Woodbine before dawn in May 2021, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).

It is still unclear who fired the fatal shot.

RELATED: Woman killed, man shot in exchange for gunfire as Camden County lawmakers serve search warrant

GBI said law enforcement knocked and spoke up before entering the residence, and once inside, there was an exchange of fire between residents of the home and law enforcement.


According to the GBI, the inmates were identified as James, 37, who was shot at the scene and died, and VarShaun Brown, 46, who was injured and hospitalized at UF Health in Jacksonville. The family said the two are cousins ​​and it is Brown’s home.

According to family members who spoke to News4JAX, Brown said the MPs did not identify themselves before using a battering ram to open the door, so he fired thinking it was a robber.

Body camera footage released of the incident shows approximately 3 minutes and 16 seconds out of a total of 3 hours and 43 minutes of footage from a proxy’s camera.

MORE: Lawyers demand full bodycam of fatal shooting as Georgia lawmakers serve warrant


Footage shows MPs approaching the house and reporting before knocking on the door. “Sheriff’s office, search warrant,” a deputy is heard saying as officers enter the home.

A series of gunshots can be heard in the released footage, however the footage is dark and not much can be seen as the MP is holding a shield.

MPs Downy Casey and Michael Blaquiere were the MPs involved.

Prosecutors said Higgins met privately with family members and selected community leaders on Wednesday to share his decision with them.

According to a press release from his office, Higgins offered his condolences to James’ family.

“While any loss of life is always tragic, officers’ use of force in this case was justified to protect their lives,” Higgins said.

The state still plans to pursue criminal charges against Brown for his role.

The family announced last year that they plan to sue Camden County and the Camden County Sheriff’s Office for $25 million in James’ death.


News4JAX has reached out to the attorney representing the family to see if he is still pursuing this lawsuit.

Brown is charged with three counts of aggravated assault, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute it and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His bond is priced at $575,000.

Varshan Brown (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.)

Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.