Graphic video of a police cruiser running over and killing a Deland, Fla., man was made public yesterday by the victim’s family, after a grand jury decided not to bring charges against the officer driving the cop car.
"We feel very betrayed by our criminal justice system," said Krystal Brown, the victim's former wife and mother of his three children.
Marlon Brown, 38, died on May 8 underneath a vehicle driven by officer James Harris.
Harris, a rookie cop who was still in the probationary period of his employment, was fired from the Deland Police Department over the incident. But Brown’s family wants him to face manslaughter charges as well.
The incident that ended in Brown’s death began when police tried to pull him over for a seat belt violation. According to a passenger in the car, Brown panicked, saying he did not want to go back to prison, and fled.
He was chased by three police vehicles. But when he got out of his car and fled on foot, two of the vehicles stopped.
The third, driven by Harris, kept chasing Brown.
On the video, Brown can be seen running through a vegetable garden when he apparently realizes he can go no further. He stops -- but the cop car keep going and runs him down.
"Simply put, this was an execution in a vegetable garden," said Brown family attorney Benjamin Crump.
The video is below (Warning: contains disturbing images). A still capture from the video is pictured at right.
A medical examiner’s report concluded that Brown was not actually hit by the cop car, though the video taken from the car’s own dashboard camera, appears to show clearly that he was.
But medical examiner Dr. Shiping Bao decided that Brown slipped and fell, landing underneath the moving car.
Bao is the same medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Trayvon Martin, who was shot dead by George Zimmerman in that nationally notorious case. Bao was fired after the confused testimony he offered during Zimmerman’s trial.
Attorney Crump also represented Martin’s family.
The Brown family has already won a $550,000 settlement from the city of Deland, though in the terms of the agreement, the city admitted no wrongdoing.
The death of Brown was the second fatality in just nine months that stemmed from a seat belt violation involving Deland Police. In September 2012, Deland Police attempted to pull over 17-year-old Trevon Lacy for not wearing his seat belt. Lacy, who was driving without a license, sped away and crashed into a tractor-trailer truck.