Police Officer Charged in Shooting of Black Gay Man in Virginia

A special grand jury indicted the officer that shot Isaiah Brown multiple times in Virginia.
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A county sheriff’s deputy in Spotsylvania County, Virginia has been charged with a felony after shooting a Black gay man in April.

Special prosecutor LaBravia Jenkins told the Free Lance-Star a special grand jury indicted Deputy David Turbyfill for “reckless handling of a firearm resulting in serious injury” nearly three months after 32-year-old Isiah Brown was shot multiple times outside of his home, leaving him in critical condition. Due to the severity of the victim’s injuries, Jenkins said officials charged Turbyfill with a felony instead of a misdemeanor. Since the shooting took place, Turbyfill has been on administrative leave. If he is found guilty, he faces up to five years in prison.

According to the Free-Lance Star, Thomas was discharged from the hospital on May 25 and has been recovering at home.

Audio from 911 dispatchers and body camera footage released by the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office showed that the April 21 incident began after Brown had a dispute with his brother and told a 911 dispatcher, “I’m about to kill my brother.” The dispatcher then asked whether Brown had a gun, and he did not give a clear answer. When the 911 dispatcher repeated the question, Brown said “no.” Brown then began walking outside with a cordless house phone, and police arrived on the scene. Moments later, Turbyfill can be heard yelling, “Drop the gun!” and “Show me your hands now!”

The officer — who had given Brown a ride earlier that day when his car stopped working — proceeded to shoot Brown ten times, according to the family’s attorney, David Haynes Results of an investigation by the Virginia State Police found that Brown was unarmed during the shooting.

In a statement, the victim’s lawyer affirmed that Brown “did nothing wrong” and praised the special grand jury’s decision.

“The shooting resulted in significant injuries to Mr. Brown, which will undoubtedly impact him for the rest of his life,” Haynes said in a written statement. “Isiah Brown’s life was shattered and changed forever when he crossed paths with David Turbyfill. While this indictment doesn’t take Mr. Brown’s physical pain away, it does signify a measure of justice. We look forward to the successful prosecution of David Turbyfill.”

In the wake of the indictment, the family’s lawyer has also doubled down on calls for Turbyfill to be fired. Haynes is also seeking the release of additional evidence in support of the case.

“We are calling for the immediate termination of Deputy David Turbyfill,” Haynes added. “We are also asking for the release of all audio communication between the deputy and dispatch, all video from the scene, as well as Turbyfill’s employment records and personnel file.”

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