Drug War

Florida Cop Who Killed Man Fleeing Seatbelt Stop Has Been Fired


Volusia County Jail

Early last month, a Volusia County Sheriff's deputy in DeLand, Florida, tried to pull over Marlon Brown for not wearing his seatbelt. When Brown refused to stop, the deputy alerted the DeLand Police Department, who gave chase. After a few blocks, Brown pulled over near an empty field, got out of his car, and ran on foot from the officers. That was when Officer James P. Harris, 25, ran Brown over with his car, killing him. This past Friday, Harris was fired

Officer James P. Harris, 25, who was on probation, was terminated Friday afternoon, police Chief William Ridgway said.

Ridgway said in a written statement that Harris was let go "based on the totality of the circumstances and facts that I continually learned through the process of the investigation."

He would not comment further because the Florida Highway Patrol investigation and a Deland internal investigation are not finished.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that the decision to fire Harris before the Florida Highway Patrol completed its investigation was largely a result of Harris being a police officer for all of nine months: 

Ridgway's termination letter to Harris was brief.

"I have determined that you have failed to meet probationary standards. Effective immediately, your employment with the City of DeLand has been terminated. This decision was made in the best interests of the department, the city and the community."

Harris was a probationary employee hired in August. He hadn't yet received his first review.

"He's been terminated because of his probationary status," DeLand police Sgt. Chris Estes said.

That doesn't necessarily mean the DeLand PD is religious about holding reckless cops accountable. Another reason for the quick response? Outrage from DeLand's African American community, which has been demanding justice for Brown for almost a month now. The News-Journal also reveals why Brown was so unwilling to pull over: 

Brown had problems with the law before. He had more than two dozen arrests in 20 years and was released from jail in April after serving time for drug possession. Friends believe it is unlikely he had a valid driver's license the night of his death and feared returning to jail.

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

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  1. So if he had finished his probationary period he would have kept his job?

    1. It depends: had he been informed, in writing, that running over people was against policy?

  2. “continually”?!?

    God. Misusing fancy words doesn’t make your report better; it makes you look like a fucking idiot.

  3. “Harris was let go “based on the totality of the circumstances and facts …”

    Live by ‘totality of the circs’ die by ‘totality of the circs’.

  4. That doesn’t necessarily mean the DeLand PD is religious about holding wreckless cops accountable.

    Just a guess, but I think you were actually going for “reckless”.

    1. I thought it was a pun.

      1. I read that as “I thought it was a gun” and wondered who you’d shot. Too many common themes in these stories.

    2. Damn. Thanks.

  5. But But but DUE PROCES!!!!

    1. He got more process than the guy he ran over. Though I’d prefer something a little more harsh than loss of employment.

      1. being fired for killing a guy while at work is a violation of the fine officers CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to DUE PROCESS. anyone who disagrees is a member of the bigorati with a troll-o-meter of .01


        1. I know you’re only trolling, but right now I’m in the torches and pitchforks camp, which makes it hard to laugh.

          1. My goal wasn’t really to get anyone to laugh, so much as to remember that this is what dunphy actually believes.

            1. I haven’t seen him around in a while.

  6. This looks like a job for the NLRB!

  7. Friends believe it is unlikely he had a valid driver’s license the night of his death and feared returning to jail.

    The union will back their fearless administrator of JUSTICE all the way!

    1. A lack of der paperwerken is a capital offense.

    2. Well, at least he successfully avoided returning to jail.

  8. You heartless monocle wearing libertarians just don’t get it do you?

    CLICK IT or Ticket! Driving without a seatbelt is for your own protection, damnit! A fella could get hurt real bad by not wearing his seat belt!

    I guess we need to spend more on citizen education efforts in this sphere.

    1. Obviously – like smoking pot, not wearing a seatbelt can be lethal if law enforcement sees you.

  9. This is heinous, I think we all agree the cop deserves way more than just a firing. But I gotta say, if you don’t have a valid driver’s license and fear returning to jail, don’t you think you might wear your seat belt to avoid getting pulled over? Maybe drive carefully, and obey all traffic laws? Perhaps those laws are all stupid infringements on our freedoms and everything, I won’t argue that they are or are not. But, you sir, who is afraid of being arrested might just want to stay under the fucking radar for a change. You know, if you were still living.

  10. Why is there a picture of the dead guy and not the fired cop?

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