Isiah Brown, a resident of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, has filed a lawsuit against the local police chief and one of the deputies for a shooting that took place last April. According to the lawsuit, Brown was shot eight times by Deputy David Turbyfill despite the young man being unarmed.
Brown’s lawyer made a statement following the filing of the lawsuit and said, “Today we filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of Isiah Brown against Spotsylvania County Police Chief Roger Harris and Deputy David Turbyfill for their roles in the totally unnecessary shooting incident involving Mr. Brown that occurred April 21,” attorney David Haynes of The Cochran Firm said.
Harris is being listed as a defendant in the lawsuit because he oversees and directs all deputies and members of the police force, including Deputy Turbyfill.
According to his lawyer, Isiah Brown suffered major injuries because of the shooting and will have life long problems because of those injuries. The firm hopes that the lawsuit will help Brown move on with his life. After the shooting, Brown spent a lot of time in the hospital in critical condition.
Isiah Brown has yet to speak to the media regarding the shooting and how it has impacted his life. According to reports, the young man suffered injuries to his face, neck, chest and pelvic area. His sister, Yolanda, spoke to The Advocate and called her brother the “life of the party.” She said that he loves music and his family and friends.
A GoFundMe page set up during Brown’s recovery has raised over $2,000 for their cause. They have a current goal of $10,000 and are still waiting for justice for their family member.
“Isiah Brown’s life will never be the same after his tragic encounter with David Turbyfill,” Haynes added. “Our hope is that this lawsuit will provide a measure of justice for Mr. Brown and force the Spotsylvania Police Department to enhance their training and update their policies and procedures so that this never happens to another person.”
The shooting took place last April near Brown’s home. According to his family, they blame the shooting on failed communication between Deputy Turbyfill and the 911 dispatcher. Brown was on the phone with the dispatcher when Turbyfill drove up. The officer was responding to a domestic incident between Brown and his brother when he encountered the young man.
The deputy said that he thought Brown had a weapon, but after a state police investigation it turned out to just be a cellphone. According to the 911 call that was released following the shooting, Deputy Turbyfill can be heard saying, “drop the gun,” and “stop coming towards me,” before he fired.
“The officer just started shooting at him for no reason. I didn’t hear a warning shot. All I heard was ‘Hands up!’ one time. And all he had was his phone, so I know he put his hands up,” said Isaiah Brown’s brother, Tazmon Brown
Attorneys for the young man said that their client obeyed all commands from the deputy and the dispatcher.
State police didn’t find any gun on Brown or at the scene. The young man was shot at 10 times and eight bullets were found in his body.
Deputy Turbyfill was placed on administrative leave following the shooting and was indicted in court last July. They charged Turbyfill with felony reckless handling of a firearm. According to Special prosecutor LaBravia Jenkins, this type of charge is usually listed as a misdemeanor, but because of the extent of Brown’s injuries, the court ruled it as a felony.
If Turbyfill is found guilty he could face five years in prison.