When an Unarmed Black Man is Run Over by Police Officers and Nobody is Charged
Marlon Brown committed the shocking crime of not wearing his seat belt, and his sentence was death, when he was run over by police officer James Harris. What’s not shocking is that Officer Harris, although fired, was not charged in Marlon’s death. Marlon’s family is demanding accountability for his death from Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi. They’ve also hired Attorney Benjamin Crump, who also represented Trayvon Martin’s family, and they’re asking for a independent investigation.
According to Marlon’s former wife, Krystal Brown, 38, a licensed practical nurse and occupational therapist and mother of Marlon’s two adolescent children, “the medical examiner’s report is not what we’re seeing on the videotape.” Volusia County Medical Examiner Marie Herrmann, who ruled the death an accident, wrote in her report that she found no evidence the police car pursuing Brown struck him, but rather that Brown slipped and fell and the patrol car came to rest on top of him.
However, an assistant medical examiner, Dr. Shiping Bao, who conducted the autopsy on Marlon, told Krystal and Attorney Crump that he concluded the killing was a “traumatic homicide.” Bao told them he was overruled by Herrmann, his boss, who took over the completion of the autopsy, according to the complaint filed with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s medical examiner commission. Bao was then fired. Based on Herrmann’s autopsy report, a grand jury declined to indict Officer Harris.
Bao conducted the 2012 autopsy on unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. According to Attorney Crump, Marlon’s death was a, “execution in a vegetable garden” and “the grand jury made that decision based on flawed information.” Attorney Crump says Marlon’s family will keep fighting to see the officer indicted on charges of vehicular homicide, but Florida Attorney Jeffrey Meldon doesn’t see that happening. “At this point I think it’s probably unlikely, no matter how much publicity there is, that this prosecutor will go forward with charges,” says Meldon, a criminal defense and personal injury attorney. “He has cover now because the grand jury didn’t indict.”
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