• Homeless Union of GSO


“He was tied up like an animal.”

– Statement from Marcus Deon Smith’s family

November 13, 2018 – Marcus Deon Smith died while in police custody during the early morning hours of September 8th, 2018. After reviewing the police body cam footage, members of Marcus Deon Smith’s family believe that he died because of being held in a ‘hogtie restraint’ which caused him to stop breathing.

The Smith family has written a letter to the Greensboro City Council asking for full transparency, due speed and accountability for the 4 officers involved in this incident.

A group of 7 pastors and over a dozen community organizations have written a statement of support which was delivered to members of Greensboro City Council, along with the family’s statement, and a statement from their attorney, Graham Holt, on November 13th, 2018.

‘Hogtying’ is a controversial form of restraint which other police departments across the country have banned because of the serious risk of injury or death associated with such practices. Police officers AG Lewis, JC Payne, LA Andrews and RR Duncan have been put on administrative duty, as per department protocol, and an SBI investigation has begun following this incident.

The Smith family claim that the short press release produced by the Greensboro Police Department concerning Marcus’s death is lacking in crucial details and offers a false narrative about how he died. “Marcus posed NO threat to these police officials,” the Smith family statement reads, “He submitted himself willingly and BEGGED for help, and instead he was hogtied, and died as a result.”

The Smith family have asked for the Greensboro City Council to review all pertinent body camera footage concerning this case immediately, to hold individual officers accountable and to change the Greensboro Police Department policy to bar officers from engaging in such restraints in the future.

The media and public are welcome to attend a press conference held at

The Beloved Community Center - 417 Arlington Street on

Wednesday November 14th at 3pm.

The Smith Family, along with their attorney, Graham Holt, and representatives of the supportive organizations who have penned the statement to Greensboro City Council will be present to answer any questions from media.

Read Statement From Family Here

Read Coalition Statement and the League of Women Voters statement of support Here


The following list of clergy and organizations have signed the statement of support:

Marcus Hyde

For the Homeless Union of Greensboro


Rev. Julie Peeples

Congregational Church of Christ Greensboro

Rev. Brandon Wrencher

For the Pulpit Forum Greensboro

Rev. Wesley Morris

Faith Community Church Greensboro

Rev. Nelson Johnson

For the Beloved Community Center Greensboro

Rev. Sadie Lansdale

First Unitarian Church of Greensboro

Rev. Randall Keeney

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church

Rev. Carter Ellis

St. Timothy's United Methodist Church

Reggie Weaver

And Karen Archia

For the Good Neighbor Movement Church

Irving David Allen

Human Relations Commission for the City of Greensboro and Criminal Justice Advisory Commission Board Member

Lindy Garnett

Former Greensboro Police Community Review Board Commissioner

For the YWCA of Greensboro

Hester Petty

For Democracy Greensboro

Lewis Pitts

Retired Civil Rights Attorney

Dr. Spoma Jovanovic

For the Faculty of Reclaiming Democracy

Tiera Moore

For Community Play!/All Stars Alliance

Thomas Burwell

For Greensboro Food Not Bombs

Nikki Marin Baena

For Siembra NC

Andrew Willis Garcés

For American Friends Service Committee of the Carolinas

Holden Cession

For Ignite NC

Gary Kenton

Community Advocate

Alfrique Kilimandjaro

For the Carolina Peacemaker


Vicki White-Lawrence, President,

Anna Fesmire, Vice President

& Gary Kenton, Board Member

For the League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad*

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