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Family Speaks: Raleigh Man Dies in Police Custody

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Curtis Mangum, left, pictured with his daughter, died while in Raleigh Police custody and his family is asking for more information on the circumstances surrounding his death. (Mangum family)
Curtis Mangum, left, pictured with his daughter, died while in Raleigh Police custody and his family is asking for more information on the circumstances surrounding his death. (Mangum family)
January 15, 2018

RALEIGH, N.C. – This week, the family of a man who died in Raleigh Police custody is hoping to have more answers.

Curtis Roeman Mangum began showing signs of medical distress last Wednesday after he was taken into custody with another suspect.

He later died after being transferred to WakeMed hospital.

"I want justice,” says Betty Johnson, Mangum’s mother. “The police system, all this needs to change to make it better than what it is."

The group Save Our Sons and the Police Accountability Community Task Force (PACT) are working to help the family find out more information about what transpired before Mangum began having medical problems.

The Raleigh Police Department says it is following procedure for in-custody deaths, and the chief of police will send a report to the city manager within five business days.

The State Bureau of Investigation is now handling the case.

Kimberly Muktarian, president of Save Our Sons, says while the case is still being investigated, Mangum's death illustrates a larger problem that must be addressed.

"Our weakest and our poorest people are vulnerable,” she stresses. “We are asking for transparency because in cases like this, the general public does not know.

“The only persons who know are witnesses, if there are any, and the police department, who has privy rights to all video footage."

Family spokeswoman Andrea Jones says Mangum was at the wrong place at the wrong time, and his passing leaves a huge gap in his community.

"It's just a sad situation that, you know, the police are trying to criminalize him before they humanize him,” she states. “He was a son, first of all. He was a magnificent, outstanding father. He had a heart of gold. He would give you the shoes off his feet, the shirt off his back."

The family is asking for an external review of the officers' conduct in the case.


Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC