(DELAND, Fla.) — The family of a Florida man, Marlon Brown, is seeking independent investigations into the night he was run over by a DeLand, Fla., police cruiser while fleeing officers through a vegetable garden.
Brown’s family this week released a graphic video of the final moments before his May 8 death. It showed footage taken from the patrol car’s dashboard of Brown leaping from his car and running away from officers. Brown tripped and fell shortly before he was struck and disappeared under a patrol vehicle.
The video then showed Officer James Harris, who was driving the car, jumping out and yelling at another officer, Justin Ferrari, “I think he’s underneath the f***ing car.” Both officers then attempted unsuccessfully to lift the cruiser off Brown.
The family was promped to release the video after a grand jury for the state attorney’s office determined last week that there was not enough evidence to criminally prosecute Harris.
“This was an execution in a vegetable garden,” the Brown family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, told reporters Wednesday. “The officer came at Marlon with such velocity that…he could not have stopped.
“And for what?” asked Crump. “An alleged seat belt violation. That’s why we were having this high speed chase?”
Crump was not available for further comment to ABC News.
Brown previously served jail time for drug possession and had been arrested more than two dozen times in 20 years. His family said Brown did not do anything wrong the night he was killed, referring to the incident as “vehicular manslaughter.”
“We feel betrayed by our criminal justice system,” said Brown’s wife, Krystle Brown, who reached a $550,000 settlement with the city of DeLand in August. “The video is important and speaks the truth.”
DeLand police said that Officer Harris was terminated from his probationary officer status after the incident occurred.
“On May 31, the chief of police reviewed the video of the incident. Upon reviewing, he determined the actions in the video did not meet our internal standards,” said DeLand Police Sgt. Chris Estes, who said Harris was fired the same day.
“Personally, this event has weighed heavily on me since it occurred,” DeLand Police Chief William Ridgway said in a statement released Wednesday evening. “It is always a tragedy when a human life is lost.”
Ridgway said that Harris’ conduct was not “consistent with our department’s training, directives or accepted practices or techniques.”
Police this week were wading through approximately 200 pages of investigative reports and conducting an internal review.
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Paul Moyer, FamilyShare