Isaiah Brown, a 32-year-old Black man in Northern Virginia, remains in critical condition after being shot by an officer who identified a cordless house phone as a gun.
HuffPost reports the officer, who was responding to Brown’s Wednesday morning 911 call in which he threatened to kill his brother, is heard in a bodycam footage as he barks order at the man standing in front of his own house.
“Shows me your hands,” the officer yelled repeatedly after driving up to the scene. “Drop the gun.”
“He’s got a gun to his head,” the deputy added.
Seconds later multiple gunshots are heard in the dark video.
“The officer mistook a cordless house phone for a gun,” Brown’s lawyer, David Haynes, told HuffPost. “There is no indication that Isaiah did anything other than comply with dispatch’s orders and raised his hands with the phone in his hand as instructed. The deputy in question made multiple, basic policing errors and violated established protocols.”
Isaiah Brown was treated for gunshot wounds to the face, neck, chest, and pelvic area. He is lucky to be alive. pic.twitter.com/b5V02NvOkQ
— Marjorie Gaylor Queen (@Tim_Tweeted) April 23, 2021
An hour before the shooting, a Spotsylvania County sheriff gave a ride to Brown because his car broke down at a gas station around 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday. According to NBC Washington, the officer who gave Brown a lift turned out to be the same one who shot him later that morning.
The chaotic scene unfolded shortly after the officer dropped off the 32-year-old at his home and drove away. Brown, who found himself in a dispute with his brother after coming home, called 911.
“I’m about to kill my brother,” he told the dispatcher.
“Don’t kill your brother,” the operator replied. “Why would you say something like that?”
“Alright,” the caller said, adding that he doesn’t have a gun on him.
He also urged the dispatcher to send somebody immediately.
The officer who responded to the scene shot the caller as he was in the road talking with the 911 dispatcher. Brown was telling the operator that he had moved outside with a cordless phone and that his brother was inside the house.
“Stop walking towards me,” the officer yelled before opening fire.
The deputy continued to yell orders as Brown lay in the road after being shot.
“Show me your hands! Drop the gun! Drop the gun!” he said.
Brown now remains in an intensive care unit, with his injuries classified as serious, but non-life-threatening.
“The tragic shooting of Isaiah Brown was completely avoidable,” the family’s attorney said in a statement. “Isaiah clearly told dispatch that he did not have a weapon more than 90 seconds before the deputy arrived. He told dispatch that he was walking away from the house and away from anyone else and was on the roadway by himself.”
The family is also asking police to release audio of the operator’s conversation with the deputy in the moments leading up to the shooting.
“There was obviously a failure of communication between dispatch and the officer which led to this tragic event,” Brown’s loved ones stated. “Isaiah is now fighting for his life as a result of these completely avoidable errors by the deputy and dispatch.”
The incident in Northern Virginia is one of several police shootings which has caused outrage in the country in April. Two weeks before Brown’s shooting, officer Kim Potter drew her handgun instead of her taser and fatally shot Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota , as Blavity previously reported.
Potter, who has now resigned, was heard yelling “Taser! Taser! Taser!” before firing a handgun and screaming “Holy s**t! I shot him.”
Last week, officers in Columbus, Ohio responded to a call about an attempted stabbing and fired multiple shots at 15-year-old Ma’khia Bryant, who they said was holding a knife as she was caught up in the middle of a brawl between two other girls.
The family, however, said the teenager was fending off a physical assault when police arrived, as Blavity previously reported.
“My daughter dispatched Columbus police for protection, not to be a homicide today,” Paula Bryant said about her beloved child.