Unarmed man shot 8 times by police files $26 million lawsuit
Written by ABC Audio on October 20, 2021
(NEW YORK) — Isiah Brown, who was shot eight times by police earlier this year in Virginia, is filing a lawsuit for $26.35 million against two officers involved in the shooting.
On April 21, Brown was on the street near his mother’s home, speaking to a 911 dispatcher on the phone when Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Deputy David Turbyfill drove up, exited his car and shot Brown several times, according to the lawsuit.
Earlier that night, at the home, a disagreement ensued, 911 was called and Turbyfill was dispatched to address the dispute, the lawsuit states.
In a portion of the 911 call released by police, Turbyfill seems to have thought that Brown had a gun. The officer is heard yelling at Brown to drop a gun on the recording. Brown was unarmed, according to the Virginia State Police, which investigated the incident.
Brown’s attorney states that his client was holding a phone at the time of the shooting and obeyed all police and dispatcher commands. In a statement, Sheriff Roger Harris said that he then ordered the deputy to begin providing first aid, and later contacted the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal to investigate the incident.
“Today we filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of Isiah Brown against Spotsylvania County Police Chief Roger Harris and Deputy David Turbyfill for their roles in the totally unnecessary shooting incident involving Mr. Brown that occurred April 21,” said Brown’s attorney David Haynes of The Cochran Firm in a statement to ABC News.
The lawsuit states that Turbyfill was negligent, committed battery and used excessive force during the incident. Turbyfill’s lawyer, Mark Bong, declined ABC News’ request for comment on the lawsuit.
Turbyfill was also charged with felony reckless handling of a firearm, according to a special grand jury indictment in July. Turbyfill had been placed on administrative duties since the shooting, according to a past statement from the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s office.
The county sheriff is also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit, and is stated to have responsibility for the actions by directing and supervising Turbyfill’s deputies.
Haynes said that the shooting caused life-altering injuries for Brown, which will “leave him with permanent damage for the rest of his life.”
“Isiah Brown’s life will never be the same after his tragic encounter with David Turbyfill,” Haynes said. “Our hope is that this lawsuit will provide a measure of justice for Mr. Brown and force the Spotsylvania Police Department to enhance their training and update their policies and procedures so that this never happens to another person.”
The Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
ABC News’ Sabina Ghebremedhin contributed to this report.
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