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Black Man Shot by Virginia Deputy Who Had Given Him Ride Home



An unarmed Black man shot by a Virginia sheriff’s deputy while making a 911 call had been given a ride home less than an hour earlier by the same deputy after his car broke down, authorities said on Sunday.

Isaiah Brown, 32, was recovering from injuries after the same deputy from the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office administered life-saving aid at the scene, Virginia State Police said. The officer mistook a telephone held by Brown for a gun, according to an attorney for Brown’s family.

It was among the latest in a series of law enforcement shootings of Black men in the United States, and it happened a day after white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd.

Authorities released the 911 call audio as well as the deputy’s body camera video late on Friday.

Virginia State Police are investigating the incident in Spotsylvania County, about 66 miles south of Washington, D.C., and their findings will be turned over to a special prosecutor, Fredericksburg Commonwealth’s Attorney LaBravia Jenkins, said state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

Brown was being treated at a local hospital for serious but non-life threatening injuries, Geller said.

State police said the deputy had driven Brown home after responding to a 911 call about a stranded motorist at about 2:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday. At 3:18 a.m. the same deputy responded to a second 911 call in which Brown was threatening to kill his brother, police said.

When the officer arrived, he saw Brown walking away from his home. “The sheriff’s deputy attempted to verbally engage Brown and it was during this encounter that the deputy discharged his service weapon,” state police said in a statement.

On the 911 call, the deputy is heard shouting “Drop the gun! Drop the gun now!” before opening fire. He is then heard administering aid: “I’m here for you man. The hospital is coming,” he tells Brown. “Where’s the gun at? Where’s the gun?!”

In a statement reported by CNN, David Haynes, an attorney for Brown’s family, said the officer made “multiple, basic policing errors”, and Brown’s shooting was completely avoidable.

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