Family releases dash camera video from police officer who killed Marlon Brown
Updated On: Sep 18 2013 11:57:37 PM EDT
The family of Marlon Brown on Wednesday released dash camera video from the cruiser of the DeLand police officer who struck and killed Brown.
Krystle Brown, ex-wife and mother of Brown's three children, held a news conference with attorney Benjamin Crump Wednesday afternoon regarding the grand jury's decision not to charge Officer James Harris.
"Simply put, this was an execution in a vegetable garden," said Crump of Brown's death, adding that they are disappointed with the grand jury's decision.
"We feel betrayed by our criminal justice system," Krystle Brown said. "The video is important and speaks the truth."
Krystle Brown also released the unseen video of the May 2013 incident from Harris' patrol car, showing Brown kick off his sandals and run out of the car. Another officer, Justin Ferrari, is in front of Harris as he stopped outside of the vegetable garden, shouting at Brown to stop running, the dash camera video shows.
Harris then continues to drive after Brown, according to the video. After Brown disappears under the patrol car, Harris gets out and screams at Ferrari, "I think he's underneath the f****** car."
Both men try to pick up the patrol car but are unsuccessful, the video shows.
The medical examiner's report said there is no evidence Brown was struck by the vehicle. An expert used by the state attorney's office says there is no evidence of the acceleration during the six seconds from the foot chase and that a rapid deceleration occurred four seconds before the car came to rest.
Crump said he doesn't agree and said the video speaks for itself.
"The officer came at Marlon with such velocity that once if he felt or not he could not have stopped," he said. "And for what? An alleged seat belt violation. That's why we were having this high speed chase?"
Local 6 obtained video last week showing the events leading up to the incident before Brown was killed from another officer's police cruiser but police wouldn't release that video, citing that state law says video that shows someone dying is sealed and not available to the public.
"I think any family member who saw that video would want this information to be made public," said Local 6's legal analyst Luis Calderon. He says there's a lack of transparency in handing the case over to a grand jury. There are too many unknowns about what evidence was presented by a prosecutor and whether it benefitted Brown or Harris.
Crump also called for an independent investigation by authorities from outside the DeLand area be held to determine if charges should be filed.
"I wouldn't be surprised if a special prosecutor was assigned to this," Calderon said. "I wouldn't be surprised if this took a federal investigation."
The autopsy report said that Brown had no skull, rib, pelvic, arm or leg fractures and no contusions on the upper or lower extremities. There were abrasions on his right buttock and upper left back, areas the vehicle may have been putting weight on after he was run down.
"He slipped and fell and then the police car came to a stop on top of him," the medical examiner wrote. The report states Brown had his head bent downward to his chest, compressed, unable to breathe and the cause of his death was mechanical asphyxia.
DeLand police released a statement after the news conference on Wednesday, saying their internal investigation is still ongoing.
"Personally this event has weighed heavily on me since it occurred. It is always a tragedy when a human life is lost," said Chief of Police William Ridgway. " On May 31 I was shown the video of the incident. I determined that the actions taken did not meet our internal standards. I terminated the probationary employment status of Officer Harris on that same day."
Ridgway continued, saying Harris' actions were not "consistent with our department's training, directives or accepted practices or techniques."
It's unlikely that the Grand Jury's work will ever be revealed because it is sealed. Although, Calderon says in some cases, they can release a report, but that could be as little as just a couple of sentences, not a complete report.