Bloody video shows scene of Phoenix police shooting that paralyzed man
PHOENIX – Edward Brown lay on the hot ground with his hands cuffed behind him for more than 10 minutes after being shot in the back by a Phoenix police officer last year, newly released video of the bloody incident shows.
The footage (WARNING: Graphic images and language), which was released to the media Monday by Brown’s representatives, is from the body camera of an officer who arrived on the scene after the shooting.
Sandra Slaton, Brown’s defense attorney, said during a press conference Monday there wasn’t any known video of the actual shooting, which occurred Aug. 5 and left Brown paralyzed from the chest down.
Police reports said Brown swiped at an officer’s gun, which prompted the officer to step back and fire.
Brown, who is suing the city for $50 million, and his representatives have disputed the police description.
“They’re lying about the circumstances of what happened with Edward Brown. He was shot in the back when he was unarmed and fleeing from police. He posed no threat to those officers,” said civil rights activist Rev. Jarrett Maupin, an adviser to Brown.
“And then when they shot him in the back, they debated about getting his dirty black blood on their racist white hands and accused him of spitting his blood on them while he was choking to death because his lungs and mouth were filling with blood.”
The video includes several instances where officers admonish Brown for spitting while they are treating him.
“Do not spit, I don’t want your blood all over me,” a male officer can be heard saying. “If you do, we’re going to have issues.”
Around eight minutes elapses from the time the officer wearing the camera arrives until a Phoenix Fire medical response team appears on the scene. Another 2-3 minutes passes before Brown is lifted onto a gurney and the handcuffs are removed.
It’s not clear how long Brown had been down by the time the video began.
The officer wearing the camera spends time bandaging the wound on Brown’s back. He also works with two other officers to try and determine if there is an exit wound.
As they move him around, Brown says the hot ground is burning him. The officers push him into the shade provided by a wall that isn’t more than 2 feet high and has a strip of grassy area at its base.
“The way they just tossed me up against the wall and let me just lay there basically just shows their intent,” Brown said during the press conference.
Brown said he couldn’t sleep after seeing the video.
“It just brings back the same exact memories that I had that day, over and over, the amount of pain that I was enduring, even when the officers were tossing me around. They didn’t know how much pain that I was going through,” he said.
“My main focus was to live. The video shows that I fought. I fought to sit here right now to be here to tell this story, a dramatic situation that turned for the worst when a better decision could have been made.”
Maupin said the fact that Brown is black played a role in how he was treated.
“I defy the city of Phoenix to present to me evidence that they treat white men and women this way,” he said.
Slaton said police have been harassing her client since the shooting.
“Every time Mr. Brown speaks up or there’s a huge protest or something happens, Mr. Brown seems to get stopped,” she said.
The police report on the incident indicated that Brown was shot near Glenrosa and 22nd avenues after police attempted to stop him when they received a call for suspicious activity involving drugs.
The report said Brown ran through the yards of several homes before reaching a fence he couldn’t hop over. When the officer drew his gun from about 20 feet away, the report said, Brown ran at the officer.
The report said as Brown approached the officer he “swiped” at the gun, and the officer indicated he felt the tip of his gun get hit. That is when he stepped back and fired, striking Brown one time.
“If he had gone for the gun, as they say, he wouldn’t have been shot in the back,” said Tom Horne, the former Arizona attorney general who is representing Brown in his lawsuit.
Brown admitted to running from police because he has a felony warrant, according to the report. However, the report said, Brown denied running toward the officer or attempting to grab his gun. He also indicated the marijuana was planted by the officer.
He was charged with aggravated assault on an officer and possession of marijuana.
Maupin criticized authorities for taking nearly a year to release any video related to the shooting.
“It’s taking too long for the city to release these videos. We all know why, because people are going to be mad as hell when they see the contents of these videos, and they should be morally outraged, ethically outraged, outraged with respect to violations of civil rights, of human rights, and we’re sick of it,” he said.
A spokesman for the department declined to comment to KTAR News 92.3 FM Tuesday, citing pending litigation.
Brown’s case is one in a string of recent incidents in which Phoenix police officers have been accused of brutality and misconduct.
It was also one of 44 shooting involving police in Phoenix in 2018, a record for the city.
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