Florida Man Flees Seatbelt Stop on Foot, Cop Runs Him Over and Kills Him

Channel 13Channel 13Shortly after 12:30 a.m. this morning a Volusia County Sheriffs deputy saw Marlon Brown driving without a seatbelt, and attempted to pull him over. When Brown kept driving, the deputy gave up pursuit while reporting a fleeing vehicle. Almost immediately, reports the Daytona Beach News-Journal, officers with the DeLand Police Department (the county and city share a dispatch system) said they'd spotted the vehicle and began their own pursuit. What happened next absolutely should not have: 

Two DeLand police officers got behind the car as it headed west on Beresford Avenue. Brown did not stop and made a left turn on South Delaware Avenue, a dead-end street that ends near an empty lot. Brown stopped the car and ran from it, as one DeLand patrol car stopped behind Brown's Toyota Camry. The other patrol car, driven by Officer Harris, drove past on the left of the other stopped patrol car and struck Brown, who was running, with the right front, Montes said.

Harris then ran over Brown, killing him on the spot, Montes said.

At the scene behind some apartment buildings at 901 S. Delaware Ave., tire tracks lead from the paved road into the empty lot for more than a hundred yards, running over bean plants and knocking down a chain link fence. This is where witness Sabrina Waldron said the car stopped on top of Brown.

Waldron said Brown's car pulled along the woods and stopped.

"There was no need to run him down," Waldron said. "After the car hit Marlon and landed on him the back end of it was up in the air."

The Deland Police Department is refusing to comment on the case until the Florida Highway Patrol concludes its investigation. The only information it's released at this point is that the officer who killed Brown, 25-year-old James Harris, has been on the job since August, has an otherwise clean record, and is now suspended. As for Brown: One explanation for his decision to not pull over may be that his license was suspended and he was on probation. But really: Chasing people over seatbelt violations? Isn't that a bit much?

This incident--like the one Brian Doherty noted in which a NYPD patrol car pursuing a dirt bike slammed into it and killed one of the passengers--didn't need to happen. But it seems DeLand police simply aren't very good at chasing pedestrian suspects.

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  • DJF||

    Proving that if he was wearing his seatbelt this would not happen. Seatbelts save lives.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Really, there's no arguing with this statement.

  • Aresen||

    If Marlon Brown had been texting or using a cell phone, he would have been in real trouble...

  • Greaney79||

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  • Zeb||

    T-shirts with diagonal stripes from upper right to lower left also save lives.

  • Sidd Finch||

    The driver's version would probably sell better.

  • mr lizard||

    I'm almost certain that the cops name is required to be reported ASAP IAW the sunshine laws. This ain't the CommonReich of Northern Virginia.

  • Mike Riggs||

    I just added it.

  • mr lizard||

    Well that was eerily fast

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    GOOD SHOOT IMO!!!!!!! UNDER TOTALITY OF CIRCS WELL DONE!!!!!!!!hardon

  • ||

    Murder is okay if a self-important badge commits it, so it's all good.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Verified by three different independent committees derp

  • VG Zaytsev||

    You forgot TFPACKAU.

  • ||

    Looks like the DeLand PD needs some training on not running people over.

  • Aresen||

    Bob Newhart, Bus Driver School

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLowo1zOO-E

  • ||

    Negligent homicide. Bets on whether the cop'll be prosecuted?

    And seatbelt laws are so retarded.

  • robc||

    Unrelated to the police running him over, on probation and driving with a suspended license, why arent you wearing your seatbelt?

  • ||

    If only someone had informed the cops that being a moron isn't a capital crime.

  • Aresen||

    I thought being a moron was a prerequisite for being a LEO.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    dunphy has said several times that it is.

  • MisterDamage||

    It's true enough, but cops don't need to enforce that one, it's a self enforcing law of nature.

  • DRM||

    Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.
  • Aresen||

    The Deland Police Department is refusing to comment on the case until the Florida Highway Patrol concludes its investigation

    "Procedures were followed."

    See, that didn't take long.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    If the guy runs away instead of pulling over for the cop, I don't know if I can be that upset that they chased him. But maybe they should have some sort of driving test for cops that they issue cars to. First on the test could be not running over people.

  • $park¥||

    If the guy is in a vehicle you can chase him in a vehicle. If the guy is on foot you have to chase him on foot.

  • Drake||

    If he's on a horse, does the cop have to find one too?

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Yes.

  • ||

    Standard action movie laws say indeed.

    But if he gets into a helicopter, you're allowed to shoot it down with a rocket launcher.

  • Aresen||

    Standard movie laws say you can outrun a helicopter on horseback.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    However, if Chuck Norris is in a truck, you're allowed to chase him with a helicopter to make the odds slightly less uneven.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Well yes, but when he changes from vehicle to running you need to park your vehicle before proceeding on foot. That still requires some driving ability.

  • ||

    What's the fun in that? I mean, you have played GTA, right?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Auric only does the cab and ambulance missions, which he inevitably fails because he always stops at the lights.

  • ||

    Yeah, and he even thinks the hookers are for having sex with and not for killing. What a rube.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    But no buttsex.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I haven't played that since III, I think, but one of the things I'd do (sure others did it, too) was get as many stars as possible, then hole up somewhere and kill everything that came at me. Usually to capture a tank or something.

  • ||

    I got the tank in Vice City twice. One of those times I had that fucker going for a good minute or two before they finally managed to get me. That was fun.

    The best way in Vice City to get up to five or six stars was to find this particular fountain outside a building near the airport. It had a rocket launcher in it. If you built up some stars before getting there, you could grab the launcher and then start taking out the helicopters they sent after you. For some reason the cops wouldn't come into the building's parking lot, so you could blow choppers out of the sky unmolested and keep getting more rockets as the launcher respawned. This could get you up to five stars, but then you'd have to leave that relatively safe place to go get your sixth.

    Fuck that was a fun game.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It sure was. There's something about being able to steal planes and run totally amok, regardless of mission goals, that's satisfying.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Why the fuck do they even need to stop people for traffic shit anymore? The cop car can just scan the plate and they can automatically send the bill to the person. Do red light and speed cameras stop violators? No. They just send a stupid bill because that's what its all about.

    (SLD fuck all traffic laws, drivers licenses, vehicle registration, and subsidized roads)

  • Agammamon||

    Ah but then you get into arguements as to *who* was driving the car - the court still has to prove it was *you*.

  • Mensan||

    No they don't. The Florida law for red light cameras says the owner of the vehicle is presumed to be the driver unless they provide they can prove it was someone else, including that they must identify the other driver. The owner is automatically guilty unless they can prove someone else guilty in their stead.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Reason would go berserk if they started doing that. Due process violation blah blah blah.

    If we had seat belt cameras NONE of this would have happened, though the guy would have probably been brought in once they found out his DL was suspended.

  • Agammamon||

    Do you ever listen to yourself?

    Fuck it - they made a law and you must obey the law because its the law - even if the law is stupid and intrusive.

  • ||

    I disagree, especially since the offense was not wearing a seatbelt.

  • Aresen||

    Not wearing a seatbelt is stupid.

    However, I believe that the appropriate penalties for not wearing one are the immediate and necessary consequences of trying to ignore the conservation of momentum. Penalties imposed by nannies are superfluous and nothing more than a power grab.

  • Mr. Soul||

    Wearing a seatbelt is stupid...if you need to get out of the car fast. I can accept your argument that not wearing one is stupid as long as you accept the same goes for owning guns or exercising any freedom. It's stupid until it isn't. It's smart until it isn't.

    Its the driver/shooter who accepts the risk. Sometimes he chooses wrongly, but it was probably the best choice he could see at the time. Im sure this guy would buckle up if he had it to do over.

    Once again, as Elizabeth Warren reminded us - we need to be grateful to the govt for keeping us safe from those marauding bands.

  • Agammamon||

    No - not wearing a seatbelt *is* stupid. And tossing your lifesavings onto a single all-or-nothing spin at roulette is tupid - even if you win.

    On the other hand - it should *not* be against the law. As you said, its the driver and passengers who accept that risk and should be free to make that decision.

  • tarran||

    The fact is, when a guy runs, you don't know if he is running from the ticket, or because he has a half-dead girl trussed up in his back seat.

    The decision to chase is not in the face of it unreasonable.

    Running the dude over, though, in the absence of any evidence of an imminent threat to anybody else could seem a little excessive.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Half dead o-ding bitches do not justify endangering everybody else. And that only happens like 1% of 1% of the time.

  • PapayaSF||

    And cops chasing perps run them over only like 1% of 1% of the time. It was clearly an accident, and one that would not have happened if the idiot hadn't run. My sympathy for victims of this sort of thing always drops when they turn out to have done something stupid.

  • Agammamon||

    My sympathy goes to the guy who gets killed because he wasn't obeying a law that shouldn't exist in the first place.

  • Agammamon||

    DOubly so when he's killed by accident by cops who are overly eager to to arrest someone for stupid little violations.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    You don't think there should be a law requiring you to stop when ordered by police?

    Anyway, he was killed because he stupidly ran in front of a moving vehicle.

  • Agammamon||

    No, I don't think there should be a law requiring you to stop just because a police officer says so, anymore than I think there should be a law requiring you to allow cops into your home just because they want to.

    If the cop is acting illegally (which I admit they are not in this case, just acting dumbly) then you should not have to submit.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I think there should be a law requiring police to be unarmed and on foot. They might start having to interact with fellow citizens in a non-adversarial manner.

  • Aresen||

    That is like the "so they can't flush the evidence" excuse for SWAT raids: Self-serving and disproportionate.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Chase, arrest, okay. Kill, not so much.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I believe that's the exact point that tarran and I were both making.

  • Pro Libertate||

    What, you don't like agreement? Fine, I'm all for capital punishment for people who don't wear seatbelts. It might cost me money or something with ObamaCare. Or something.

  • Aresen||

    "What, you don't like agreement?"

    Considering what a contrary bunch libertarians are, agreement is likely to be rare, fleeting and largely undesired.

  • Duke||

    I disagree.

  • ||

    Nice imitation. If I didn't look at your handle I almost wouldn't know the difference.

  • Agammamon||

    The decision to chase *is* unreasonable - the *first* cop in the story, the deputy who originally spotted him declined to chase since the violation HE KNEW OF was to minor to be worth endangering anyone.

    Props to that guy.

    Its the two other dumbfucks who had nothing better to do and no common sense that got the guy killed.

  • Fate||

    This.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Booking a perp requires so much time and paperwork. This way the cop gets a free vacation. One of the little perks of being an LEO. hth

  • ||

    good stop, imo. hth

    You know, Irish is much better at spoofing dunphy than I am.

  • $park¥||

    Apparently the cop took ProL's advice in making sure they guy who got run over was dead too. Nice work, ProL.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I didn't know Florida cops read Hit & Run. Honest!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Of course they do. It's part of their surveillance effort on you and your homeschooling cult.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's a fair cop.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I guess the cops used their telepathic powers to force the perp to run in front of a moving vehicle.

  • Duke||

    When they should have used their telepathic powers to buckle the man’s seatbelt.

  • Jordan||

    The nanny state claims another victim. You know what the police need? Even more excuses to pull people over!

  • Duke||

    Now THIS I can agree with. Seatbelt laws cost lives!

  • Agammamon||

    So, why do we have seatbelt laws again? Especially when every law is backed up by the threat of lethal force if you don't comply?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, see, if someone gets hurt badly in an accident, insurance has to cover it, which means slightly higher premiums for all of us.

    If the cops kill the insured, no payout.

  • Mr. Soul||

    years ago I worked at a large insurance co and the actuaries there told me that when airbags became mandatory, that rates went up. The thought was that you had to fix many more broken legs, hips, etc. where before you just buried them. You are righter than perhaps you know.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Do you know how much kinetic energy an unseatbelted body has after flying through a windshield due to its vehicle hitting a stationary post at 65 mph?

    Your right to become a human projectile ends at my nose.

  • In Time Of War||

    Exactly. Seat belt laws were enacted due to the huge public outcry at the tremendous number of pedestrian deaths caused by flying ex-motorists.

    Why, back in the olden days you were afraid to leave your house because of all the bloody bodies spinning madly through the air.

  • Agammamon||

    Hey moron - *exactly* how many people have been injured (let alone kiled) by bodiees flying through the windshield?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Discounting the people doing the flying?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    So my understanding of Reason's position on traffic enforcement:

    1. Traffic enforcement cameras are bad because they violate due process by assuming the person driving the car is the owner, and because the defendant can't cross-examine the camera.

    2. Cops chasing cars that refuse to pull over after traffic violations are bad because someone might get hurt during the pursuit.

    So.... how does Reason think traffic laws should be enforced? Maybe they want you to have a cop sitting in the passenger seat every time you drive?

  • Duke||

    Yes. Because those are clearly the only choices we have.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    That's what I'm asking. Chasing perps down is out of the question, cameras are off the table, so what's left? Anyone?

  • Duke||

    How about...let’s see...GOOD POLICE WORK? Like the police use appropriate force that is commensurate with the violation. See, that wasn’t so fucking hard.

  • Duke||

    I don’t get to cut corners as a lawyer. If I mess up, I get held to a high standard and can be punished by the state bar in addition to being sued. If the police kill someone for running him over, then they should get the death penalty just like the victim. Police aren’t above the law -- especially the constitution.

  • Mr. Soul||

    agree and vice-versa. Whatever your position on the death penalty, it should apply to everyone equally. "Death sentences for cop-killers" is another really bad idea.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Death sentences for killer-cops.

    Might work.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Earth to Junior Enforcer Tulpa, exactly what kind of a perp was Bad Bad Marlon Brown?

  • Agammamon||

    *Reason* thinks that maybe we should limit traffic laws to be enforced to those that its worth chasing people down and potentially killing them for.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    Traffic laws have nothing to do with traffic violations. They have everything to do with money. Here in Illinois, traffic money is the largest contributor to the county budget, far above and beyond anything else. It's gotten so corrupt that a percentage of the traffic ticket money actually goes into a vacation fund for judges and an end-of-year bonus payout for the police force in my city.

    And registration fees? What about those is *NOT* extortion, exactly? I should at least have the option to opt out of registration fees, and take the consequences of the police being unwilling to help were my car to be vandalized or stolen. Feels like the libertarian solution to me.

  • ||

    The devil is always in the details, but I'm going to climb out on that limb and say this will probably be unjustified, to say the least.

  • Real American||

    run from the cops and you might get run over. They're not typically that careful and they're gonna get away with it. Lesson is: don't run from the cops.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Everyone knows what is concealed in the waistbands of fleeing terrorists.

    "DeLand Police Department Officer of the Year: James Harris, for heroically carrying out his Public Safety duties while in harm's way."

  • Billy Beck||

    Riggs does not understand what happened, here.

    Yes; there was once in Western legal theory a concept of the proportionality of punishment to crime. Riggs' mistake is in attempting to scale the pursuit and homicide to the offense of driving without a seatbelt.

    The offense here was disobedience, and this is the most capital crime of all.

  • Exador||

    Anybody else remember when the politicians and police were first pushing seatbelt laws? They told us that you'd NEVER be pulled over for just a seatbelt. It was only going to be a secondary ticket. There would never be seatbelt checkpoints.
    Remember that whenever government wants to push its latest safety law.

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