Investigators are searching for clues in relation to the case of a Florida man who was run over and killed by a police officer for a relatively minor traffic violation – not wearing his seatbelt.
According to local media reports, Marlon Brown, 38, wasn’t wearing his seatbelt when officers in Volusia County – just east of Orlando on the Atlantic Coast – attempted to pull him over.
For reasons unknown, Brown took off – but didn’t get far.
Officer James Harris, 25, responding to the scene to provide assistance, ran over and killed Brown. Four other occupants of Brown’s vehicle were uninjured during the Wednesday morning altercation.
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Currently, the Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. Officials have said they’ll review dashcam video and interview witnesses.
In the meantime, an angry neighborhood full of Brown’s family and friends are demanding answers – and justice.
“Marlon was running because he was scared,” said a friend, Occriss Wright. “He had a suspended license and was on probation and he was afraid.”
Friends of Brown say he was a father and worked as a barber, often visiting the area and giving free haircuts to children in the neighborhood.
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"Over aggressive, beyond aggressive," said Sabrina Waldron, referring to police. "It's just a shame. It's not called for at all."
Neighbors and friends of Brown said even if he was running from police over a seatbelt violation, it doesn't justify him being run over and killed.
"The beginning doesn't justify the end," said Krystal Brown, Brown's ex-wife. "Somebody has to account for his death, somebody has to account for my children not having their father."
Harris, the officer alleged to have run over the fleeing Brown, has only been with the DeLand Police Department since August and has had no disciplinary issues since his time on the force.
He has since been placed on administrative leave as the investigation into Wednesday's events continues.