Officers had to pick up the police car by hand in order to retrieve the body
September 19, 2013
A disturbing dash cam video released yesterday shows a Florida police officer running over a suspect who was wanted for not wearing a seat belt.
WARNING: Strong language and violence not meant for children
DeLand Police Officer James Harris was fired over the incident, which killed the suspect, 38-year-old Marlon Robert Brown, according to the Ocala Post.
As the video shows, Brown, a known felon, fled from his car on foot after police attempted to pull him over for a seat belt violation.
During the chase, Harris drove around his fellow officers and sped towards Brown.
After Brown slipped and fell, Harris nailed him with his car.
“I think he’s underneath the [expletive] car,” one of the officers can be heard saying in the video.
The officers had to crouch down with flashlights to even see Brown and they apparently had to pick the car up by hand in order to reach him.
The department cited a “violation in police pursuit policy” as the reason for Harris’s termination.
Brown’s ex-wife received $550,000 from the city of DeLand as compensation for his death under terms that released the city from additional liability.
Brown’s family has since hired attorney Benjamin Crump, who also serves as legal representation for the Trayvon Martin family.
Crump referred to Brown’s death as an execution in a vegetable garden and has demanded an independent investigation.
Earlier this month, a grand jury declined to press charges against Harris.
The video, posted on YouTube, has sparked a debate in the video’s comment section.
“Not being snarky but being a felon was an issue to Mr. Brown so he ran,” vdelrio999 wrote. “Had he calmly waited outside his car, he wouldn’t have been chased, stumbled, and hit by the car.”
Another commenter disagreed.
“Had the rookie officer done the same as the two seasoned officers in the two police vehicles parked 20 feet away, then his stumbling and falling would have been followed by an arrest, not death,” he responded. “‘Not being snarky’ either.”
A commenter with the username ‘Criminal Justice’ felt that Brown could have handled the situation better.
“Is it sad someone died? Yes, but if you run from police things like this will and do happen,” he stated. “He was out past a court ordered curfew as well and he ran from two different agencies.”
But the police officer could have handled the situation better as well, Von Halford pointed out.
“I’m usually the first person who says ‘You shouldn’t have run,’ but I don’t think accelerating and smashing into someone running away is the code of conduct for police officers,” he wrote. “That’s called murder.”
“The man was running away, he wasn’t pulling a gun and the fact that he was being pulled over for a seatbelt violation tells me there is probably more to the story we don’t know.”
This story brings to mind the incident in California last month in which a police officer was caught on tape shooting and killing an unarmed homeless man, Hans Kevin Arellano, because he called her a “bitch.”
Thanks to the Ocala Post for background information on this video.