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Florida Cop Runs Over Suspect, Gets Away With Murder

Florida Cop Runs Over Suspect, Gets Away With Murder

In early May, Marlon Brown of DeLand, Florida was pulled over for an alleged seatbelt violation. When confronted by police, Brown chose to flee the scene, running through a nearby vegetable garden to escape.

Instead of pursuing Brown on foot, one officer, James Harris, hit the gas and sped after the man, still in his police cruiser. Instead of apprehending the suspect, Harris ended up running him down and crushing him beneath his car. A medical examination found that Brown did not die of broken bones, but instead suffocated beneath the weight of the cruiser.

The good news is this: an internal police investigation found that Harris’ conduct was in violation of the department’s chase policy, and he was immediately fired. Unfortunately, when the case when to court, a grand jury decided not to bring charges against Harris. So while he’s out of a job, Harris isn’t going to end up doing any jail time for killing a suspect.

Brown’s family is understandably upset about the decision, claiming that local media coverage that mentioned his past criminal history may have biased the jury. Brown had previously served time in jail and had been arrested more than two dozen times over the course of 20 years — but his family maintains that on the night in question, he had done nothing wrong.

The city has paid Brown’s family $550,00 to avoid any future civil litigation, but that hasn’t stopped them from loudly and vocally telling the media that they don’t believe justice has been done. They’ve even released a graphic video taken at the scene showing Brown’s death to help spread awareness of the situation.

Unfortunately, suspects being killed by police is nothing new. As Care2′s Kristina Chew noted recently, if you act in any way erratically during an encounter with the police, you’re likely to be shot. This doesn’t just include people who try to flee the scene of a crime — it includes people with disabilities, racial minorities and even nearby pets. It seems that even when police don’t immediately reach for a gun, that’s still no guarantee of safety.

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85 comments

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8:14PM PST on Dec 14, 2013

Unfortunately police abuse of power is becoming endemic in our society.
Just recently a police officer in Duluth, MN was acquitted of assaulting a man after the suspect was out of his wheelchair. While I believe the police have a right to defend themselves from legitimate threat of after knocking a handicapped man from his wheelchair he continued to assault the man. I also believe that many of these type of actions occur when the officer is no longer in danger of being attacked.

4:27PM PDT on Oct 10, 2013

This officer needed to serve jail time! I hope he never gets another job, anywhere! I hope prospective employers turn him down when they learn why he was fired.

6:09AM PDT on Oct 9, 2013

Agree with you Berney p - the theme there seems to be "guilty until proven innocent!!"

5:05PM PDT on Oct 6, 2013

Wonder when law enforcement trainers started teaching rookies to shoot first, run over suspect, or pounce and beat suspect, all before, or instead of, apprehending same suspect?? It used to be law enforcement officers were taught to use deadly force only as a last resort. I would include running over suspects as a last resort effort - Not the first choice. This is by far not the first case like this, and sadly, it won't be the last until law enforcement agencies across America start retraining, or firing, these bullies with guns.

5:36AM PDT on Oct 4, 2013

Everybody knows that there are police that violate the code of conduct, and are trigger happy, etc. Not to make any light of the situation, but, stop breaking the law...simple...I don't break the law, and oddly enough, have had to encounter police....amazing concept.

6:28PM PDT on Sep 30, 2013

Terri S.: Problem with ignorant people such as yourself is when police make YOU a victim. Your post shows no consideration for the law, ethics, or morality. All it shows is your lack of common decency and your obviously low intellect. You are no better than the policeman who MURDERED this man.
For those who say "Running from police is not a good thing" I ask why would any sane person NOT run from police??? Police today are more dangerous than anyone else you can run into on the street - Including criminals. Police can murder you for any reason - Or NO reason - at all with impunity. Today's police have the exact same mindset the Nazis had. That people are nothing more than vermin to be used as target practice and other abuses.

5:11PM PDT on Sep 30, 2013

ty

4:54PM PDT on Sep 30, 2013

Signed! No jail time? Outrageous!

11:31AM PDT on Sep 30, 2013

Police has become shoot happy, shoot first then ask questions, dogs, humans, doesn't matter.

11:23AM PDT on Sep 30, 2013

I am floored that the jury did not see this for what it truly was, murder. How is this justice?

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Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
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