April 25 2021 A Virginia police officer is suspected of firing at least 10 shots at an African-American man for using his phone as a handgun.
The African-American man is currently being treated in the intensive care unit.
The incident occurred in the early hours of April 21 outside a house in Portsallwinia County, Florida, where 32-year-old Isaiah Brown was shot, the Associated Press and other U.S. media reported Thursday.
Footage captured on body cameras by the officers involved showed him arriving at the scene, loudly ordering Brown to raise his hand, asking him to drop his “gun” and stop approaching him. The officer also appeared to say over the radio, “He (Brown) was pointing a gun at my head” and then fired several shots at Brown. Brown’s family says brown suffered 10 gunshot wounds and is being treated in the intensive care unit.
When the officer arrived, Brown was holding a cordless phone and talking to a dispatcher at the 911 alarm center, U.S. media said.
The recording of the call showed that Brown mentioned “trying to kill his brother” and the dispatcher then told him to “don’t do that” and repeatedly asked if he was armed, to which Brown responded” “no.” As the police car’s siren sounded, the dispatcher told Brown to “put your hands up.” When officers arrived, he could be heard yelling at Brown from the audio.
“Brown’s tragedy is entirely avoidable,” Brown’s attorney, David Haines, said in a statement Wednesday. The police officer made many basic mistakes and violated the established rules.
He was 50 feet away from Brown at the time of the incident and was never threatened and should not have been shot. The local sheriff said a special prosecutor had been appointed to take charge of the case, and the officer, who has not yet been identified, had been placed on administrative leave.
It was not immediately clear whether the officers involved knew that Brown had told the dispatcher that he was not armed and that he was carrying a cordless phone.