Officers accused of kicking unconscious man shortly before death

Credit: NBC Charlotte

Officers accused of kicking unconscious man shortly before death


by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

Posted on May 17, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 19 at 3:51 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A deadly fight in west Charlotte is now a two-pronged investigation:  Was the attack murder or self defense, and did police follow procedures when they broke up the fight and saw an injured man.

Officers broke up a fight around 8 a.m. Friday on Mathis Drive in the Enderly Park neighborhood.

Witnesses say one man beat another to death by hitting him in the head with a gun several times.

Vondra Lockett says the man who died is her godson, 29-year-old Quinton Milhouse, married with a wife and two children.

"He just kept hitting him, and hitting him, and hitting him," Lockett said. "The guy was beating him in the face and head and he was just bleeding everywhere. He just kept trying to get away from him."

Lockett says officers initially tried to arrest Milhouse, and instead of realizing he was unconscious and badly beaten, she alleges officers kicked him in the back and head while trying to get him to respond to their commands.

"The police were stepping on his head and neck, trying to make him put his arm back, he was unresponsive," Lockett said.  "Instead of checking to see if he was ok, they were kicking him in the back of the head, stepping on the back of his head and I told them I will never forget that."

Police say they learned the man stopped breathing after he was in custody.  Paramedics gave CPR for what seemed like a half hour, neighbors say.

Internal affairs are looking into whether officers followed procedures.
That is common any time someone dies while in custody.

Police aren't saying why the men were fighting, but did say Milhouse and the suspect are known to one another and "had been engaging in drug activity together overnight".

Neighbors say the man with the gun claimed he was being robbed, but neighbors say they don't believe it.

At last check no one has been arrested. 

Milhouse's official cause of death will be determined by the Medical Examiner's Office