A police shooting in Northern Virginia, where a Black man was shot 10 times, is now the focus of a state police investigation. Isiah Brown, 32, is in critical condition after he was shot while making a 911 call in the middle of the night.
A sheriff’s deputy can be heard saying “drop the gun” on the body camera footage, but an attorney for Brown and his family said the sheriff’s deputy who fired the shots mistook a cordless house phone for a gun. His family also said the same deputy had assisted Brown a short time before the shooting.
Brown’s lawyer said the 32-year-old is now fighting for his life after “completely avoidable errors” by the police and 911 dispatch, CBS News chief justice and homeland security correspondent Jeff Pegues reports.
The Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office released the 911 call Brown made on April 21 at around 3:18 a.m. over what appears to be a domestic dispute between Brown and his brother. Brown told the dispatcher, “My brother won’t let me get in my mom’s room.”
“Give me the gun,” Brown is heard saying.
“I’m not playing, bro,” his brother says.
The dispatcher then asks Brown what the problem is.
“I’m about to kill my brother,” Brown says.
“Don’t kill your brother,” the dispatcher says.
“Somebody needs to come here real quick,” Brown says.
Brown can be heard repeatedly telling the dispatcher that he does not have a weapon on him before police arrive on the scene.
“You need to hold your hands up. Hold your hands up,” the dispatcher tells Brown.
Police also released body camera video showing the tense 20 seconds after a sheriff’s deputy arrived.
“Drop the gun,” a deputy shouts.
“He’s got a gun to his head,” another deputy says.
The first deputy yells again, “drop the gun now.” Gunfire can then be heard in the video.
“Show me your hands! Drop the gun! Drop the gun! Let go of the gun!” the deputy yells.
Moments later, body camera footage shows Brown on the ground after having been shot. The sheriff’s deputy can be seen giving medical assistance.
Less than an hour earlier, the same deputy had given Brown a ride to his mother’s house — where the shooting happened — after Brown’s car broke down at a nearby gas station.
“I’m just lost. Somebody’s reaching out for help, regardless of what the help is, they come to help and then to end up like this,” Brown’s sister Yolanda said. “You know, the fact that it’s the same person who spent 15, 20 minutes plus getting to know my brother to bring him home. You know, you build that trust.”
“So for him to have did the good deed to do that,” she said. “He was absolutely let down by everyone.”
Brown’s attorney David Haynes said his client complied with the officer’s orders.
“Isiah did everything as instructed by the dispatch officer, raise your hands up in the air,” he said. “And for the officer to make this terrible leap that this was somehow a gun.”
“We know that 10 shots tragically did hit his body,” Haynes said. “But that’s just a totally preventable situation.”
The sheriff’s deputy is currently on administrative leave while the Virginia State Police investigates the case. Haynes said the family is also requesting the police release the dispatch audio with the sheriff’s deputy leading up to the shooting, saying there was a failure to communicate that Brown was not armed.