The circumstances remain fluid as to the motive for the shooting, but the facts regarding Wednesday night’s shooting of Isaiah Brown, a 32-year old home health worker, are as follows.
In Spotsylvania County, Virginia, at around 2:30 a.m. Brown was picked up by a sheriff’s deputy and taken home. His car was inoperable on the side of Route 3 and he lived several miles away.
“Your brother is fine,” the sheriff told the family when dropping Brown off, “He’s not in trouble. His car broke down and I gave him a ride.
Minutes later Brown had called 911, reporting a dispute with his brother and appears to be asking his brother for a gun while on the call.
Brown then tells the 911 dispatcher he is going to kill his brother.
“I’m about to kill my brother,” he says.
“Don’t kill your brother,” the dispatcher replies.
“Alright,” Brown says.
“Why would you say something like that?” the dispatcher asks.
“Somebody needs to come here real quick,” Brown says.
Brown then tells the 911 operator that he doesn’t have a gun on him.
The deputy who gave Brown a ride home, who is white, responded to the 911 call, shooting Brown ten times in the face, neck, and torso as he stood in the road while talking on the phone with the 911 dispatcher.
On Friday the sheriff’s office released body cam footage of the encounter.
On the video, the deputy shouts orders at Brown.
“Show me your hands,” he shouted. “Show me your hands. Show me your hands, now. Show me your hands. Drop the gun. He’s got a gun to his head. Drop the gun now. Stop walking towards me. Stop walking towards me. Stop. Stop.”
Then shots were fired. The deputy began CPR.
Brown was unarmed. He had a phone in his hand.
The family was stunned by the shooting, and have contacted the NAACP and hired the Cochran Firm to represent them. Meanwhile the state of Virginia has opened an investigation of the shooting.
Brown remains in critical condition in intensive care due to his injuries.
Here is the news coverage from NBC4 Washington. It’s very upsetting to watch and listen to.
The Cochran Firm representing the family released the following statement:
“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.
The family is also requesting the release of the dispatch audio with the deputy leading up to the shooting. There was obviously a failure of communication between dispatch and the officer which led to this tragic event.
Isaiah is now fighting for his life as a result of these completely avoidable errors by the deputy and dispatch.”