The family of Marlon Brown, a Florida man, who was run over by a police cruiser, hopes that by releasing the video of his death, they can get criminal charges filed against the officer who did it.  On May 8th, DeLand police officers were chasing Marlon Brown because they allegedly saw that he was not wearing a seat belt.  At a dead-end, Marlon stopped his car and ran from the police.  Instead of getting out and chasing him, one of the officers, as captured by his own dashcam, hit him and ran him over.  Last week, a grand jury declined to indict officer James Harris on charges of vehicular manslaughter.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy video to watch,” says Krystal Brown the ex-wife and mother of Brown’s children, “but in order to obtain justice, and that’s what we’re looking for, we knew it was something that we had to do.”

Harris was fired as a result of the incident.  The dashcam shows Harris’ police cruiser following two other police cars as they drive down a residential street into a grassy lot.  The other two vehicles stop, but Harris continues to chase Brown.  As the car approaches Brown, he stumbles and falls down.  Brown then turns and faces Harris’ vehicle as Harris runs over him.  A thud can be heard before the car stops.

“I think he’s underneath the f***ing car,” a voice off camera can be heard saying.

The city of DeLand paid the family $550,000 in a settlement, which allowed the city to maintain no wrongdoing.  The family hopes that the video will pressure authorities to pursue criminal charges.  State Attorney for Florida’s 7th judicial district R.J. Larizza decided to present the evidence to the grand jury instead of directly filing charges.
Larizza said at a news conference, “This has been a controversial situation and this has been a case that has been a challenge…I wanted the most possible folks involved, people that were in the community, people that live here, people that care…”

“Just knowing what the charge entails, it doesn’t have to show intent — it only has to show reckless driving,” Krystal Brown said.  In Florida, vehicular manslaughter is “the killing of a human being…caused by the operation of a motor vehicle by another in a reckless manner likely to cause death…or great bodily harm…”

Police Chief William Ridgway explained his firing of Harris by saying, “The actions taken by Officer Harris that night are not consistent with our department’s training, directives, or accepted practices…”

“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,” says Krystal Brown. “But to get the call that he has been ran down…that doesn’t fit.”


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