Mother of man who died in Hampton police custody wants answers

Posted at 7:21 PM, Jun 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-19 20:13:49-04

Hampton, Va. - The mother of a man who died while being arrested by Hampton police officers told NewsChannel 3 she believes their roughness may have led to her son's death.

"He didn't deserve what happened," said Lorraine Dixon-Brooks, 41-year-old Marlon Dixon's mother.  "The force that they used was not really necessary."

Hampton police say Dixon showed up at a home on Grant Circle Tuesday morning.  The woman who lives there said Dixon seemed disoriented, confused and was sweating.  His mother said that may have been a side effect from medication for his heart trouble.

"If he didn't take his medicine right or something, he would get a little disoriented and maybe that's what happened yesterday," she said.

The woman at the home was so concerned about Dixon's behavior that she called the cops.  Police say they could tell he was having some type of medical episode and decided to place him in emergency custody.

"They should not have [arrested him].  They should found out what was wrong, told him to sit down if necessary to find out what was wrong," she said.

Witnesses say police threw Dixon to the ground and placed him in handcuffs.  They say he was screaming for a while before he stopped breathing.  Witnesses say police tased Dixon, but Hampton police say they've done testing on the officers' tasers that show their tasers were not used.  Four officers remain on paid administrative leave for the incident.

Dixon's mother is hoping her son's autopsy results will paint a better picture.

"Just because they have a badge doesn't mean that they should push people around the way they do," she said.  "That was wrong."