Another disturbing and tragic officer-involved shooting is being reviewed after a Virginia sheriff’s deputy shot a man who appeared to ignore clear instructions to show his hands.
In perhaps a strange twist of fate, shortly before this early morning incident on Wednesday, April 21, the same officer gave the victim, Isiah Brown, 32, a ride home after his car broke down at a local gas station. Brown is reportedly in the intensive care ward at a local hospital being treated for 10 bullet wounds.
The officer’s dash-cam footage does not provide much visibility. Upon arriving outside the home at the scene of a purported domestic incident, however, the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s deputy repeatedly orders the man to “show me your hands” and “drop the gun.”
It also sounds like the deputy advises the dispatcher that “he’s got a gun to his head.”
Immediately before firing multiple rounds, the deputy tells the man to “stop walking towards me.” The deputy continues to shout “show me your hands” and “drop the gun” even after discharging his service weapon.
He then administered CPR to the fallen man, which Sheriff Roger Harris claims saved Brown’s life.
Audio clips of the 911 call released by D.C. TV station WUSA embedded below suggests that Brown told the dispatcher that he was “about to kill my brother,” which he agrees not to do at the urging of the dispatcher.
He also informed the dispatcher that he wasn’t carrying a gun and was also walking down the road carrying the house phone.
ABC’s Richmond, Va., affiliate has reported that the Virginia State Police has apparently confirmed that Brown wasn’t armed.
The dispatcher also told Brown to hold his hands up as a siren can be heard in the background.
The deputy has been placed on administrative leave.
Sheriff Harris has requested an investigation by the Virginia State Police Criminal Investigation Bureau. Authorities have also appointed a special prosecutor to probe the incident.
A more complete rendition of the 911 call released by police outlines how the 911 dispatcher, in a back and forth with Brown on the phone, tried to find out what was going on at the home.
The dramatic audio also indicates how officers rendered aid after the shooting. A deputy can also be heard asking where is the gun.
In a statement, Brown’s lawyer David Haynes said the following:
“After viewing the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s deputy’s bodycam video and listening to the 911 call, it is evident that the tragic shooting of Isaiah Brown was completely avoidable. In the 911 call, Isaiah clearly told dispatch that he did not have a weapon more than 90 seconds before the deputy arrived. He told dispatch that he was walking away from the house and away from anyone else and was on the roadway by himself.
“Isaiah was on the phone with 911 at the time of the shooting and the officer mistook a cordless house phone for a gun. There is no indication that Isaiah did anything other than comply with dispatch’s orders and raised his hands with the phone in his hand as instructed.
“The deputy in question made multiple, basic policing errors and violated established protocols. The deputy was situated nearly 50 feet from Isaiah, was never threatened and should not have discharged his weapon…Isaiah is now fighting for his life as a result of these completely avoidable errors by the deputy and dispatch.”
Brown’s family is scheduled to hold a press conference today about the incident.
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