A Florida cop was fired on Friday amid an investigation into the death of 38-year-old Marlon Brown, who police say was run over by a squad car last month as he fled an officer.
Dashboard video taken from DeLand, Fla. Officer J.P. Harris’s car shows him pursuing Brown and running him down, according to Deland Police Chief Bill Ridgway. Ridgway spoke to reporters over the weekend, saying he felt compelled to take immediate action after watching the dashcam footage.
“This is a regrettable and tragic situation for everyone involved,” he said. “This decision was made in the best interests of the community, the city, and the department. It should be noted that the traffic accident involving Marlon Brown’s death is still under active investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol. Due to that ongoing investigation I am unable to comment further.”
Brown was killed on May 8 amid a pursuit that began when Harris tried to pull him over for not wearing a seatbelt. Police later said that Brown was driving with a suspended license. He did not have any contraband in his vehicle.
“I can’t sleep and can’t eat and I have this vision in my head,” Laheia Olvera, who was in the car with Brown that day, told The Daytona Beach News-Journal. “From his neck to his waist, he was completely smashed. His head was swelled up.”
Brown’s ex-wife Krystal explained to Jacksonville’s News 4 that she’s not satisfied with Harris being terminated. “We actually want charges,” she said. “Just a termination is not good enough, but it’s a start.”
This video is from WESH-TV 2, aired Monday, June 3, 2013.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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