On May 8 of this year Marlon Brown of DeLand, Florida made the mistake of running when the police attempted to pull him over. Two more patrol cars joined the chase with Officer James Harris whose dash-cam video appears below bringing up the rear. Brown stopped his car in a vacant lot and continued to flee on foot. At this point the first two police cars stopped while Harris continued to give chase in his car. Some may not want to see what happens next in the video as it is very graphic. Brown trips and falls to the ground, turns to face Harris’ car and disappears from sight as he is run over by the car.
The family was awarded $550,000 in a settlement from the city in which the city admitted to no wrongdoing but the family wanted criminal charges filed against Officer Harris as well. State Attorney for Florida’s 7th District, R.J. Larizza presented the case to a grand jury which last week declined to indict Harris. This is when the family decided to go public with the video in hopes that public outrage would force authorities to bring charges against him.
Harris has been fired for failing to adhere to department policies. Police Chief William Ridgeway who fired him after reviewing the video said, “The actions taken by Officer Harris that night are not consistent with our department’s training, directives, or accepted practices or techniques.”
Larizza said of his decision to bring the case to a grand jury, “This has been a controversial situation and this has been a case that has been a challenge since the beginning. I wanted the most possible folks involved, people that were in the community, people that live here, people that care about this community to make the decision, and I was confident and comfortable that they would do so.”
Krystal Brown, Marlon’s ex-wife and mother of his children disagrees. She says that the family is “disappointed” and that they, “felt let down by the criminal justice department” She feels that vehicular manslaughter was an appropriate charge saying, “Just knowing what the charge entails, it doesn’t have to show intent – it only has to show reckless driving,”
Brown was no angel and his family has not attempted to present him as such, he had a long record of traffic offenses and some arrests on minor charges such as possession of small amounts of illegal drugs and bad checks but it does not appear that he was a hardened violent criminal. He should have been held accountable for having run when the police attempted to pull him over, but he should not have been put to death for it.
Krystal Brown says, “We would have had no problem getting a call that morning saying, ‘OK Marlon ran from the police and we had to tase him’ or ‘the dogs bit him’ or something more along the lines of not using excessive force. But to get the call that he has been ran down with a vehicle for running from the police? That doesn’t fit.”
WARNING: This first clip is the uncut raw video, and is extremely disturbing.
Here is the CNN report: