Use of Force

11 Redacted Seconds of Video of Fatal 2014 Drug Bust Undermine Florida Cops' Official Story

Previously unreleased video shows Jerry Brown didn't have much time to react before Pasco County deputies shot and killed him.

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In 2014, Florida deputies shot and killed Jerry Dwight Brown during a small-scale drug bust. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said the deputies fired after Brown refused several orders to comply. The State Attorney's Office cleared the deputies of any wrongdoing due to Brown's alleged noncompliance. But last week, the Tampa Bay Times released a video of the shooting that challenges the department's official story.

Brown was shot and killed on July 1, 2014. The 41-year-old inadvertently sold illegal prescription pills to an undercover deputy with Pasco County Sheriff's Office (PCSO). The sting was part of a monthslong investigation into Brown. After the undercover deputy motioned for fellow deputies to move in and arrest Brown, the department claimed that they repeatedly ordered Brown to show his hands and shot him after he made a sudden movement.

Brown died at a hospital following the shooting. The department found that he was unarmed during the interaction.

The day after the shooting, Nocco told 10 Tampa Bay, "When we are ordering commands to show me your hands, when we are telling somebody they need to comply and they make motions that are not, and make our detectives feel their lives are being threatened you have a millisecond to make a decision."

The sheriff's office provided Reason with a redacted version of the video from the drug bust. In the video, an undercover deputy interacts with Brown outside of Big Ben's Tires in Zephyrhills. He urges Brown to enter the vehicle to make the sale. A reluctant Brown does so, takes the pills out, and begins to count at the undercover deputy's request. 

Armed deputies then approach the car and the video skips 11 seconds. When the video picks up again, the deputies are pointing guns and surrounding the vehicle.

On Friday, almost exactly six years after the shooting, the Tampa Bay Times released the redacted portion of the video.

Several deputies approach the side of the vehicle and begin to shout various commands at Brown. Brown tries to open the passenger door. The deputies shoot through the windshield and Brown screams. Fewer than five seconds pass from the moment the deputies issue their commands to the time the bullets puncture the windshield.

PCSO told Reason that the video, which they did not provide to the Tampa Bay Times—the paper obtained it independently—was released "in direct violation of a Florida State Statute that was in place at the time the video was recorded." The older statute to which the department is referring exempted recordings depicting the "killing of a person" from the public record. (The language in the statute was narrowed in 2016 to exempt recordings depicting the killing of a law enforcement officer on duty from the public record.)

The department also told Reason that they did not start using body cameras until 2015, and thus have no footage from the incident, nor are they able to provide an original copy of a press release regarding the 2014 incident.

Brown's death sparked some protests in the area in 2014 but has otherwise flown under the radar, receiving little national attention.

In February, the department reached a $262,500 settlement with Brown's widow but did not admit liability. In its report on the redacted video, the Tampa Bay Times said the deputies responsible for the killing are still employed by PCSO.

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54 responses to “11 Redacted Seconds of Video of Fatal 2014 Drug Bust Undermine Florida Cops' Official Story

  1. Cops travel in pairs to provide mutual support.
    Also, one always yells “Don’t move!” while the other yells “Put your hands up!”.
    You are ALWAYS non-compliant, therefore ALWAYS a threat.

    1. I know you’re being sarcastic, but they actually are trained to shout conflicting commands. They say it’s to put the person off balance, but I bet you are closer to the truth. CYA all the way.

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      2. That’s a shocking allegation. Got a link to anything supporting it?

    2. the other gotcha command is pull up your shirt to reveal any weapons but then they shoot and claim he was reaching for a gun.

      1. Any time they tell someone to put their hands up, the hands have to pass the waist so it will always look like they’re reaching for a gun.

    3. Which one shouts “stop resisiting!!”?

    4. “Also, one always yells “Don’t move!” while the other yells “Put your hands up!”

      Which one is the good cop and the bad cop?

      Gotcha. Trick question.

  2. I is confoozed. They say they had no body cameras; then whence the video? It’s wiggling all over, as if it’s one someone, so one can only guess it’s a custom camera setup, disguised in a MAGA hat or something. But they obviously lied about having no video, but then they provided redacted video. ZURI — this needs clearing up.

    1. Not a body camera, which may not have been standard issue in 2014, but they set up something to record the drug sale. It would have been evidence at trial, I’m guessing. So there’s only the one angle here.

      1. The department also told Reason that they did not start using body cameras until 2015, and thus have no footage from the incident

        Yet they provided redactedfootage. Something is amiss. Thus Zuri needs to clarify this confusion.

        1. There is no SOL on murder.

          The Pasco County DA better get busy.

          1. Perhaps Bill Barr should take a look see with the objective of (1) arresting all of the participating parasites, the Sheriff, and the then Pasco County DA and charging them for their violations of RICO and 18 USC 242; (2) convicting the war criminals; and (3) seeking the death penalty for all of them.

            1. The death penalty would be predicated upon the murder / felony murder / RICO convictions.

    2. “ZURI — this needs clearing up”

      Vut you failed to understant is technical differences between “body cam” and “head cam” as dey are two very distink parts of da body. Ya? I vill convey your apologies to your betters for questioning their veracity. And don’t call me, Zuri.

      “…and make our detectives feel their lives are being threatened you have a millisecond to make a decision.”

      More like nano-seconds. FFS the guy was in the middle of counting when he was interrupted.

  3. I hate watching shit like that. That was a straight up execution. There was nothing the guy could have done to avoid being killed.

    1. That 4th shot was no way justifiable. About 10 seconds after the other shots, against a guy we know is unarmed. Cops need to start getting the maximum sentences for murder.

    2. There was nothing the guy could have done to avoid being killed.

      He could have not sold pain pills illegally. People like him caused the opioid epidemic. He’s probably personally responsible for countless overdoses and deaths. We’re just lucky those brave officers didn’t get addicted to anything while treating their PTSD from having to face such a deranged individual.

      /drug warrior

      1. The war on drugs caused the opioid epidemic by tying the hands of doctors and not letting them properly manage patients with chronic pain.

        1. YOu got that right. But go further. Why is government telling anyone what they can or cannot put into their bodies? They tie the hands of humans.

          1. Uh…The Children?

            Your right to act stupidly ends where my right to safety begins! If, instead of injecting weaponized Chinese Fentanyl, you’d reign in your idle hands and do something productive, the government wouldn’t have to tie them!

            XOXO,

            Your friendly neighborhood statist

      2. Actually the war on drugs created the “epidemic”, which is not really an epidemic. Other than that you’re correct, considering how cops interact with drug dealers (who to be fair are probably the most lethal people cops have to deal with) your best bet if you don’t want to end up shot or in prison is not to be one. Dealing with criminals is dangerous because they’re criminals.

    3. It’s enough to make you want to join a riot.

  4. In February, the department reached a $262,500 settlement with Brown’s widow but did not admit liability.

    If you settle, you did something wrong.

    1. Not necessarily. Lots of innocent people (and companies) settle because it’s cheaper than continuing to fight. As they say, the process is the punishment. Settling cuts your losses.

      But, yeah, these guys clearly did wrong.

      1. It’s especially true when the settlement is paid by someone else anyway. Why not just settle everything immediately to make it go away?

    2. I bet she’s celebrating having married someone who was killed by the cops, he sure as hell was never going to produce a paycheck like that. It will probably be gone inside a year though.

    3. “In February, the department reached a $262,500 settlement…

      Lawyers would have cost $500,000 so it was really just a cost savings move because nothing is done without the taxpayer in mind.

  5. Man, being arrested is a confusing mess. Suddenly the officer is there, I hear someone screaming something. Then there’s the man closest to the vehicle saying, “Put your fucking-” and he doesn’t even finish saying “hands up!” before the shots are fired.

    The only thing I can say on the other side is that Brown did seem to be reaching into his pocket. Was he trying to figure out how to dump the drugs? He probably didn’t immediately realize the other guy was an undercover cop so he might have thought they were busting the other guy, since it was his car.

    1. “reaching for something” is the biggest bullshit excuse for taking a life. I can’t believe it’s accepted for cops to shoot because someone moves their arm.

      ROE’s for special operations forces conducting raids in Iraq during the height of the pre-isis insurgency were more restrictive than that, and many of those targets were reported to be wearing suicide vests 24/7.

      1. Dealing with criminals is dangerous because THEY’RE FUCKING CRIMINALS. It’s a statistical fact that cops are shot more often by criminals than by the law abiding public. And the fact that black males, who make up around 5% of the population, commit around 40% of cop killings probably isn’t helping their cause. It’s not often cops shoot little old ladies of any color because it’s practically unheard of for little old ladies to holler “I can’t breath” or “I give up” and then shoot a cop.

    2. And what was the last shot for, good measure?

    3. I would suggest that Brown was not thinking fight or flight but rather panic and flight.

  6. I like how they start shooting with one of their own in the line of fire. If I was the undercover I’d punch those guys in the mouth.

    1. Agreed. Obviously shooting an unarmed guy who is trapped in the passenger seat of a vehicle is disgusting, but they also put their own man in danger

      1. I keep seeing people say he was unarmed. The problem here is that the cops didn’t know he was unarmed until after he had been shot. It’s a statistical fact that criminals are pretty much the only people who shoot cops, and the fact that while black males are only 5% of the population they commit around 40% of cop killings doesn’t help the black mans cause.

        1. So by that logic the cops can kill any black man who could have a gun? You are why BLM is protesting.

          1. Or any other race beause all the rest commit 60% of the cop killings. Basically, with this argument, cops can kill anyone they want any time they want because people kill cops so better safe than sorry.

        2. The problem is that cops are a bunch of pants-wetting pussies. It’s impossible to draw a gun and shoot someone who already has his gun out and trained on you. It’s basic CHL training: The guy who already has his gun drawn has a huge advantage over the guy trying to draw from concealment and shoot him. In that scenario a cop has plenty of time, especially in broad daylight, to establish whether someone is really “reaching for his waistband” or not, and whether he’s diving into his pants for a firearm or just scratching his balls. There’s also the matter of body language, and someone other than a well-trained fighter is going to telegraph some kind of tension and/or aggression first. If cops are so highly-trained that they can make decisions in a split second–which is what they want everyone to believe except when they fuck up because they’re incompetent retards–then they have any number of split seconds in that scenario in which to *not* crap themselves and shoot someone for twitching. The fact is that they only thing they’re trained to is a fever pitch of terror that every encounter with a citizen is going to be their last. If they’d calm down a little–focus and judgement don’t work when you’re panicked–they’d be less likely to “fear for their lives.”

          1. YES, comment of the day!

  7. 11 Redacted Seconds of Video of Fatal 2014 Drug Bust Undermine Florida Cops’ Official Story

    You don’t say? Real shocker.

  8. What a nightmare. It’s the whole package. First they kill man and then they kill the truth.

    1. Right… I hope the pose behind the fraudulent killing of truth gets some serious prison time. Manipulating and lying in the pursuit of truth dealing with justice should never become acceptable.

  9. Imagine: we could all be having a nice discussion on policing and actual reform, but instead we’re tearing down statues of George Washington and calling people racist. Yay.

    1. You think any of that actually has something to do with racism or injustice? Here in SC they want to tear down a statue of Ben Tillman, one of the people responsible for it’s founding, at Clemson University, because that statue is destroying their lives. They also want to remove any reference to Thomas Clemson, the man who donated all the land for the university. I’ll wager 90% of the people insisting it’s causing them emotional harm didn’t have a clue who either of them were until someone looked it up and yelled racism. Mind you, they don’t mind GOING to a university founded by racists, they just want any references to those people removed.

      1. Ben Tillman was a hideous and violent racist and should never be honored at all.

    2. You think this just started?!?! Citizens, especially minorities have been complaining about police for decades. They have kneeled at sporting events, and everyone just attacked them. They protested in 2009-2011 and again in 2014-15 and NO ONE gave a shit, so this is the result. NO ONE hears them unless they are destructive and of course being destructive is counterproductive. How convenient.

      1. Did I ever imply that I thought this “just started?”

        NO ONE gave a shit, so this is the result

        I gave a shit, and libertarians (and others, of course) gave a shit; there’s just too few of us spread about this country to make much of a difference. The protestors and their supporters, however, are numerous. If even a fraction of them voted, then perhaps this tragedy would have never happened. However, it’s so much easier to protest, screech, and in some cases, loot, harm, and commit arson. Pathetic.

  10. I’m fucking old, retired, and sick of the cold weather and thinking about moving someplace warm like Florida. Is there anyplace in Florida where the people and the cops aren’t batshit crazy?

  11. Police Reform – Simulate these kinds of events in training and let the trigger-happy emotional fruit-cakes go. It should be apparent by now that certain high-strung people shouldn’t be in law enforcement. While it’s also apparent; the over-trusting shouldn’t be either.

    Training needs to weed out these distinct characteristics. But what do I know; it’s probably like the school system where “tenure” trumps performance to no end.

    1. Come to think about it; we have the same failed “tenure system” in public education. Where tenured degree levels give some of the most incompetent individuals jobs many drop-outs could do a lot better job at but never get the chance to prove themselves because of tenured stigmas. Perhaps it’s time to invite reality into the “training” programs for reality.

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  13. Mental note to self. Do not sell drugs to undercover agents especially in Pasco county.

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