A Mississippi ‘Goon Squad’ cop who pleaded guilty to torturing two black men and shooting one in the mouth has been accused of beating to death a mentally ill black man while trying to arrest him in 2021.

Monica Lee claims Hunter Elward and another deputy pummeled her son, Damien Cameron, after he was accused of vandalizing a neighbor’s home while living with his grandparents.

A grand jury declined to indict Elward at the time and he was never convicted of a crime. But brazen acts of violence to which he would plead guilty two years later have given Lee a fresh appeal to pursue a civil suit against him and the other cop.

On July 26, 2021 Elward arrived at a residence in Braxton, Mississippi after a 911 call was made claiming Cameron was vandalizing a neighbors home.

Brazen acts of violence

Lee claimed in court documents that she witnessed the deputy chase her son through the woods and around the family’s house while threatening and tasing him several times.

She said Elward followed Cameron into the house, tased him, wrestled him down to the floor before dragging him outside.

The mother alleges that Elward punched her son and rolled him over before kneeling on his neck and back for about 20 minutes until Deputy Luke Stickman arrived.

She also accused Stickman of kneeling on Cameron’s back before they handcuffed him and brought him to his family’s front porch.

Lee said in interviews at the time that her son pleaded with the deputies and said, ‘I can’t breathe.’


Cameron later died at the hospital, and an autopsy report listed his cause of death as ‘undetermined.’

Incident reports filed separately by the arresting officers Elward and Strickman in addition to the MBI appear to contradict each other.

Concerns have been raised around whether Cameron collapsed while fleeing into his mother’s house after initial reports filed by both Rankin County officers contain no mention of him doing so.

More revelation

A Mississippi Bureau of Investigations report on July 25, 2022, cites an interview with Elward, saying the deputy ‘attempted to arrest Damien Cameron when Cameron fled behind the house,’ and that they wrestled on the ground.

The deputy tasered him as he ran inside the home and they wrestled on the floor of a bedroom, the report says.

Then Stickman arrived and ‘assisted handcuffing (Damien) Cameron,’ and the deputies walked him to the police car and placed him inside, the report continues.

The report does not mention the officers kneeling on Damien Cameron’s neck.

‘Elward returned to his patrol unit and found (Damien) Cameron unresponsive,’ the report says, adding that the deputies performed CPR on him and called paramedics.

Months after the MBI report was released, in October 2022, a grand jury declined to indict either deputy.

Years later, five deputies from the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office, some of whom called themselves ‘the Goon Squad,’ and an officer from the Richland Police Department admitted to taking part in a racist assault against Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrel Parker. Among them was Elward.

The men never thought their abusers would pay for their crimes, Parker told Associated Press: ‘It’s really a shock, but I enjoyed every moment of it’ as he recounted the former officers being led out of a federal courtroom in shackles.