Attorney on no indictment handed up against DeLand cop who ran over & killed fleeing man: 'Beyond comprehension'

YouTube video download  / Photos for Headline Surfer / Marlon Brown, shown here, was run down and killed by a DeLand cop, who has since been fired, but not prosecuted.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DELAND -- The Tallahassee lawyer representing the legal interests of Trayvon Martin's parents in the George Zimmerman murder case that resulted in the Sanford gunman's acquittal, is now representing relatives of a black neighborhood barber they feel was deliberately run over and killed by a white DeLand cop who has since been fired.

And though a grand jury did not return a criminal indictment as the family and some in law enforcement expected, the attorney, Benjamin Crump, did not mince words today in heated remarks directed to the local authorities.

"It's beyond comprehension the reckless way in which the DeLand police officer operated that vehicle that night with no regard for human life," attorney Benjamin Crump told Headline Surfer in a telephone interview from his Tallahassee office, in what he described as his first on-the-record remarks in the May 8 death of 38-year-old Marlon Brown, who was running away from the police cruiser driven by James Harris when he was mowed down in a field in Spring Hill.

The dash cam video that was the centerpiece of the evidence in the killing is exempt from public records disclosure but was released to the media by Brown's family, which had the right to turn over digitally-embedded copies to the media.

Benjamin Crump attorney for Trayvon Martin's family / Headline SurferBenjamin Crump, the high-profile attorney for Trayvon Martin's family, is now representing the next of kin of Marlon Brown in a horrific death where answers are hard to come by.

"It's beyond comprehension the reckless way in which the DeLand police officer operated that vehicle that night with no regard for human life," attorney Benjamin Crump told Headline Surfer in a telephone interview from his Tallahassee office, in what he described as his first on-the-record remarks in the May 8 death of Marlon Brown, who was running away from the police cruiser driven by James Harris when he was mowed down in a field in Spring Hill.

And though Harris was fired in July, a Volusia County grand jury was presented with evidence by the office of State Attorney RJ Larizza of the 7th Judicial circuit, which represents Volusia, Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns, and based on what was presented in the secret proceedings, a criminal indictment was not returned against the fired cop or anyone else earlier this week.

"We cannot fathom what was presented to the grand jury by the state attorney to conclude he should not be charged with a crime," Crump told Headline Surfer this afternoon. "If the state attorney presented evidence that was inaccurate or at best and deceptive at worst, like the medical examiner's report stating there was no vehicle contact, then the situation is that much more troubling."

"We cannot fathom what was presented to the grand jury by the state attorney to conclude he should not be charged with a crime," Crump told Headline Surfer this afternoon. "If the state attorney presented evidence that was inaccurate or at best and deceptive at worst, like the medical examiner's report stating there was no vehicle contact, then the situation is that much more troubling."

From Crump's point of view, though Brown's family settled with the City of DeLand, the issue at hand is criminal liability and responsibility of the police officer and perhaps others in the police force is handling the call and the subsequent investigation.

According to DeLand police reports, Harris and a cop in a second squad car were trying to pull Brown over around 12:30 a.m. for allegedly not wearing his seatbelt when he suddenly stopped his vehicle and began running into a field when he was pursued by the cop who ultimately struck him with the front of his cruiser and ran him over -- killing him in the process.

The Office of State Attorney RJ Larizza declined to comment.

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.