Decedent Harvey Hill’s family received his autopsy report at the beginning of the summer in May. And it confirmed what they already believed to be true; Mr. Hill died of multiple blunt force traumas while staying a night in the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.
Harvey Hill was taken in by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department on a trespassing charge. Hill’s former boss called the police after Hill showed up at his house late at night during a storm. According to the Reuter’s report of the incident, titled Dying Inside, the employer told the arriving sheriff that he believed Hill needed a mental evaluation.
Moments before, according to the employer, Hill had been standing in his yard in the pouring rain just laughing. This is what frightened the employer and his wife.
Hill was taken into the police station where his condition worsened. Hill began to double down on his manic behavior.
Video evidence shows, uncovered by Reuters, an enraged Hill send a lunch tray flying. Then, the video shows Guards subdue Hill. He is slammed to the ground, held down by three large jailers and kicked repeatedly before being handcuffed and taken away.
Video evidence of Hill’s death shows him being taken into an isolation cell and left there while he struggled for 46 minutes. By the time the ambulance arrived, it was too late.
The Madison D.A. John Bramlett recognized our inquiry into the investigation and caught us up to date with the status of the investigation, stating that the investigation was handed over to the proper agency, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations. After they concluded their investigation, they gave the complete report over to the U.S. Department of Justice and this is where it resides today.
We spoke with attorney Carlos Moore, who has handled the case thus far and also worked with the department of justice on the case.
Moore revealed that he has been working with the family since Hill’s death in 2018. Hill’s family has been suspicious of foul play since the family was notified of his death.
“The autopsy confirmed that this was a homicide. It’s an open and shut case.” said Moore.
“Harvey Hill’s family wants to see those jailers who were responsible, arrested for whatever crime they are charged with,”
Training guards and other law enforcement personnel to properly manage people overwhelmed by mental illness is one of the biggest challenges facing the criminal justice system. This case appears to be a classic example.
This case must not disappear into the files. There must be accountability for the taking of a human life.
The Northside Sun will continue to report on this story as it continues to develop.
Christo Hicks is a staff writer for the Northside Sun.