Man shot as cop ‘mistakes phone for gun’

Graphic bodycam footage shows how a man was shot by police within seconds after an officer apparently mistook his phone for a gun. WARNING: Graphic.

WARNING: Graphic.

Police in the US have released disturbing bodycam footage showing an unarmed African-American man shot multiple times after an officer is thought to have mistaken his cordless phone for a gun.

Isaiah Brown, 32, is in hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries according to Virginia State Police.

The deputy, who hasn’t been named, is shown in bodycam footage arriving on the scene and telling Mr Brown: “Drop the gun now.”

Within 35 seconds he’d fired his gun and Mr Brown was on the ground. The incident happened at about 3.20am on Wednesday in Spotsylvania County, according to Sheriff Roger Harris.

In a horrific twist, Mr Brown had just received a lift home from the same deputy who fired at him.

When he arrived home, he called 911 over a domestic dispute with his brother – who refused to let him into his mother’s room to get his car keys, according to the audio of the call released by the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office. The dispatcher categorised the call-out as a domestic dispute.

A lawyer for Mr Brown’s family claims he was still on the phone to 911 when he was shot by the deputy.

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The shooting occurred after Spotsylvania Sheriff’s deputy responded to a call about a “disabled motorist” and drove Mr Brown home from a petrol station, Virginia State Police told CNN.

Disturbing bodycam footage was released by the Sheriff’s office on Friday.

“After viewing the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s deputy’s bodycam video and listening to the 911 call, it is evident that the tragic shooting of Isaiah Brown was completely avoidable,” David Haynes, a lawyer for Brown’s family said in a statement.

Mr Haynes said Mr Brown was “on the phone with 911 at the time of the shooting and the officer mistook a cordless house phone for a gun”.

Sheriff Harris said in a statement the deputy had been placed on administrative leave, and an investigation into the shooting had been launched.

“During the encounter with an adult male, the deputy discharged his firearm,” Sheriff Harris said in a statement. “Mr Brown was struck by the gunfire. The deputy immediately rendered lifesaving first aid.

“At my request the Virginia State Bureau of Criminal Investigations was contacted to ensure an impartial and transparent investigation.

“In accordance with agency policy, the deputy has been placed on administrative leave pending investigation.

“At the recommendation of the Commonwealth Attorney, a special prosecutor in this case was appointed.”

Sheriff Harris also said as advised the 911 audio and the bodycam footage were released to the public.

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