Questions remain unanswered amid federal lawsuit in 2019 death of Durham man pulled over for expired license plate

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A Durham man pulled over for an expired license plate ends up dead minutes later, and now a federal lawsuit is questioning the sequence of events including who pulled the trigger.

The initial release from the Durham County Sheriff’s Office said that once 19-year-old J’Mauri Bumpass hit a power pole, deputies called for EMS, but radio traffic showed a much more chaotic scene.

“We’re going to need K9’s to get a perimeter check,” on deputy is heard saying.

“Where is he at,” another deputy is heard asking.

“Subject on foot,” said another deputy on radio traffic. “Car overturned. Glass is broken out. I don’t know if there was a shot fired at us or not. Glass broke out of the window. The car ran, flipped, and overturned. I can’t tell if he’s pinned in or not.”

Three days later a preliminary autopsy indicated that Bumpass shot himself.

An incident report noted that Bumpass was still alive after the crash and that a tan Glock was located in the car.

A federal lawsuit filed by Attorney J. Allyn Sharp alleges J’Mauri Bumpass was on the phone with a friend, and that deputies put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.

Sharp has yet to respond to CBS 17 request to speak with that person.

The SBI declined to investigate the case, which the Durham County Sheriff’s Office still considers open.

A spokesperson from the Durham County Sheriff’s Office sent us this statement: “While we typically do not comment on pending litigation and have not yet been served by the court, we can state that neither Deputies Sharp, Osborne, nor any deputy with the Durham County Sheriff’s Office, fired their weapon nor in any other way caused the death of J’Mauri Bumpass. We will reserve further comment until we have had the opportunity to review the lawsuit.”

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