WOODBINE, Ga. – Family members, friends and activists appeared at the Camden County Courthouse Thursday to support Latoya James, who was shot dead in her cousin’s home when MPs issued a search warrant in a Woodbine home.

James’ brother and mother are still devastated by their loss and demand answers.

The family announced they would sue Camden County and the Camden County Sheriff’s Office for $ 25 million in her death.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said James was shot dead when MPs issued a drug-related search warrant in a Woodbine house in May. It is still unclear who fired the fatal shot.

“What you saw wasn’t law enforcement. What you saw was the wild, wild west. It was a botched robbery at best. At worst, it was a murder, ”said lawyer Bakari Sellers.

Her family said it was the home of 46-year-old Varshaun Brown, James’ cousin. GBI said there had been an exchange of fire, but the agency didn’t say who fired the first shot. Brown was also injured in the incident.


“You said it was a search warrant but you were in the house within 3 seconds and the shooting started,” said Brother Demetrius James. “Was tired. We were angry. We are frustrated.”

James’ family said just because they were there at the time doesn’t mean they deserved to die.

“I want her to know that she is the cutest person you will ever meet. That was Latoya, ”said her mother, Betty Jean Murphy-James.

Lawyers demand full body camera of fatal shots as Georgia MPs serve arrest warrant

Body camera footage released from 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.

“We want this video. We want the whole video, ”said attorney Malik Shabazz, who represents James’ family. “We will pursue this vigorously.”

The footage shows MPs approaching the house and reporting before knocking on the door. “Sheriff’s Office, search warrant,” one hears an MP say as the authorities enter the house.


A series of gunshots can be heard in the published footage, but the footage is dark and not much to see as the proxy is holding a shield.

“Why is the only person with a camera the one with the sign so you can’t see what they’re seeing? It’s one of the biggest questions we have, ”said Reginald Greene, attorney who also represents the family.

The lawyers believe that MPs did not allow the residents of the house enough time to open the door.

“The one-body camera shows very quick action, which makes this search warrant equivalent to an arrest warrant,” said Shabazz.

The attorney also said, “This case looks just like the Breonna Taylor case.”

Taylor was shot dead by Louisville police during a search without a warrant.

“This was not a technical warrant, but an ineffectively executed warrant that approached the level of an arrest warrant,” Greene said.


News4Jax’s crime and security expert Ken Jefferson said MPs had the right to go in without waiting because it was a high risk arrest warrant.

“These types of warrants are served with a surprise effect,” said Jefferson. “They don’t want them to expect them to come and then get ambushed.”

The GBI said it would conduct an independent investigation. When completed, it will be handed over to the Brunswick Judicial Circuit for review.

Unrelated to the case, attorney Gene Nichols spoke to News4Jax about the family’s plans to file a lawsuit.

“Whenever you sue a government agency like a school board or a law enforcement agency, you must provide that state notice,” said Nichols.

Nichols said the family would most likely pursue an unlawful death.

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