Body camera video, 911 call released in police-involved shooting of Va. man

The Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office in Virginia released body camera footage and 911 audio Friday night of the recent officer-involved shooting of a 32-year-old Black man.

The recordings appeared to show the deputy mistook a cordless house phone held by Isaiah Brown for a gun before the deputy shot him repeatedly.

Brown was shot Wednesday morning at approximately 3:19 a.m. by a deputy who was responding to a domestic disturbance call, Sheriff Roger Harris said.

He survived the shooting, but is in critical condition at a Fredericksburg hospital.

In a statement, police said Brown’s family viewed the video and heard the 911 call before its release. Both were made public at the recommendation of Fredericksburg Commonwealth’s Attorney LaBravia Jenkins.

In the 911 call, Brown tells the female operator to send police to his home on Catharpin Road.

He is heard on the call saying his brother won’t let him into his mother’s room in the house, and he can’t get into his car. The dispatcher tells Brown that his car is broken down and has been towed.

Brown then said, “all right, give me the gun” to which his brother is heard in the background saying, “no.” The dispatcher asked what’s going on, and Brown replied “I’m about to kill my brother.”

The dispatcher said “don’t kill your brother,” and asked Brown multiple times if he’s armed. He said no.

Brown then told the dispatcher he was walking down the road. The dispatcher asked, “How are you walking down the road with the house phone?” Brown replied, “Because I can.”

The body camera video shows the deputy arriving at the scene and yelling at Brown to show his hands. The deputy then yells, “drop the gun,” multiple times and appears to say over his radio, “he’s got a gun to his head.”

The deputy then yelled, “stop walking towards me, stop walking towards me” and “stop, stop” before firing at least seven shots.

The deputy is heard rendering aid to Brown and instructing the brother to get a first aid kit out of his patrol vehicle.

It’s unclear whether the deputy knew Brown told the dispatcher he wasn’t armed or knew Brown was walking down the street with a cordless house phone.

“It is evident that the tragic shooting of Isaiah Brown was completely avoidable,” Brown’s attorney David Haynes said in a statement Friday.

“The deputy in question made multiple, basic policing errors and violated established protocols. The deputy was situated nearly 50 feet from Isaiah, was never threatened and should not have discharged his weapon,” Haynes said.

He said the family is requesting dispatch audio leading up to the shooting be released as well.

The release of the recordings comes after family members and the ACLU of Virginia demanded they be made public.

Sheriff Harris said in the video that accompanied the release that a special prosecutor had been appointed to the case and advised that the recordings be released.

Harris said the deputy, who has not been identified, has been placed on administrative leave and Virginia State Police is handling the investigation.

Isaiah Brown, 32, was shot by a Spotsylvania County deputy on Wednesday. (Courtesy David Haynes)

WTOP News partner NBC Washington reported that the same deputy who shot Brown had given him a lift home from a gas station about an hour earlier, after his car broke down.

Before the video and audio release, between 25 and 30 people went to the sheriff’s office to voice their concerns about the shooting before heading to the hospital to hold a vigil for Brown, Spotsylvania County NAACP President Moe Petway told WTOP.

Petway said, while he was impressed by the release of the audio and body camera footage, he hoped authorities can remain complete and transparent as the investigation continues.

“We want a thorough investigation,” said Petway.

“We want them to take their time and look at the video. We want the special prosecutor to make sure they are transparent. Remain transparent, no matter what the outcome is, and do it as soon as possible but thorough. And then, present to the community what happened concerning this incident.”

WTOP’s Dick Uliano and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jose Umana

Jose Umana is a digital writer/editor at WTOP. He joined WTOP in 2020.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2021 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up