Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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Attorney for Gay Shooting Victim Isiah Brown Files Lawsuit for $26M

Isiah Brown

The attorney for Isiah Brown, the gay Virginia man shot eight times by a Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Deputy April 21 while he was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, has filed a lawsuit in federal court on Brown’s behalf. 

David Haynes, a lawyer with the Cochran Group in Washington, D.C. said that the suit filed was 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.”  

As The Advocate covered in April after the shooting, Brown, a 32-year-old gay Black man, was walking down the street away from his house, and was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, when he was shot eight times for holding a phone to his ear. Despite being in critical condition for weeks, Brown survived. At the time, his family blamed the miscommunication between the dispatcher and the police officer.  

According to Haynes, the shooting resulted in numerous life-altering injuries to Mr. Brown which will leave him “…with permanent damage for the rest of his life.”   

“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 suit is seeking $26 million, according to TV station WWBT.

In an exclusive interview with The Advocate for the column about Isiah, Brown’s sister Yolanda described her brother as “…the life of the party. He loves his family, loves to laugh, and just loves, loves his music…and loves Big Freedia.” 

When reached for comments from Isiah, a spokesperson for the family said that he is not ready to speak to the media at this time. 

Tags: News, Violence, Police

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