Apr 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Unarmed Virginia Black man shot by sheriff's deputy while on 911 call

Virginia state police are investigating reports that an unarmed Black man was shot by a sheriff's deputy who mistook his cordless house phone for a gun. The deputy had earlier given him a ride home, authorities said.

Driving the news: Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office released video late Friday of the shooting of Isaiah Brown, 32, who's in critical condition in a hospital with 10 bullet wounds following the shooting early Wednesday.

Details: Sheriff Roger Harris released body camera footage and a 911 call from Brown at a news conference confirming that the unnamed deputy had been placed on administrative leave.

  • During the call, a man identified as Brown can be heard saying he'll kill his brother and "give me the gun" after his brother won't let him in to retrieve his car keys. He tells the dispatcher several times he does not have a gun.
  • The deputy who gave Brown a ride home some 45 minutes earlier after his car broke down responded to the call as a "domestic incident."
  • The deputy can be heard saying "he's got a gun to his head" before telling him to drop it and to stop walking toward him. Gunshots can be heard ringing out.

What they're saying: Brown’s lawyer, David Haynes, said in a statement to news outlets, "The officer mistook a cordless house phone for a gun.

  • "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."
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