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Family of Florida man run over by police car calls for ex-cop to be charged

By Travis Gettys
Thursday, September 19, 2013 9:58 EDT
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The family of a Florida man killed during a police pursuit over a seat belt violation released dashboard camera footage that appears to contradict the medical examiner’s findings.

Marlon Brown, 38, died May 8 after investigators said he refused to stop when a Volusia County sheriff’s deputy tried to pull him over for a seat belt violation, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

DeLand police took over the pursuit and Brown fled his car of foot and ran through a field but was cornered by a fence near a vegetable garden.

One of the officers, rookie James Harris, continued driving and appeared unable to stop his cruiser on the grass in time to avoid driving over Brown, who had slipped and fallen in the garden.

The medical examiner’s report found no evidence that Brown had been struck by the vehicle, reported WKMG-TV.

The report found that Brown had not suffered any fractures or bruising on his extremities and died from mechanical asphyxiation, likely because his head was bent downward to his chest and compressed. The medical examiner noted abrasions on Brown’s buttocks and upper back that could have indicated the cruiser had weighed down on him after he fell.

A grand jury last week declined to indict Harris, who was fired May 31 for violating department policies after the city’s police chief viewed the cruiser cam video.

The city of DeLand reached a $550,000 settlement with Brown’s family last month but admitted no wrongdoing in his death, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The family and their attorney released the dashboard camera video Wednesday in hopes that Harris might still be charged with vehicular manslaughter.

“We feel betrayed by our criminal justice system,” said Brown’s ex-wife, Krystle Brown. “The video is important and speaks the truth.”

The family’s attorney called for an independent investigation of Brown’s death by authorities from outside DeLand, which is about 20 miles north of Sanford, where 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

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