$26M Suit Filed in Case of Gay Black Man Shot 10 Times by Deputy

Thursday October 21, 2021

A law firm representing Isiah Brown, a gay Black man who was shot 10 times by a sheriff's deputy earlier this year in Virginia, has filed suit against both the county sheriff and the deputy, local news channel NBC 12 reported.

The federal suit was filed by The Cochran Firm, which issued a news release in which attorney David Haynes 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."

Haynes said in the release that the shooting "resulted in numerous life-altering injuries to Mr. Brown which will leave him with permanent damage for the rest of his life," and went on to add, "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."

As reported previously at EDGE, the same deputy, David Turbyfill, had given Brown a ride home in the early hours of the morning, after Brown's car had broken down. But an hour later, Turbyfill returned to Brown's home because of a 911 call Brown made after he and his brother started arguing.

News reports said Brown was still on the phone with the dispatcher, using the cordless house phone, when Turbyfill arrived. The deputy mistook the phone for a gun, and ordered Brown to "Show me your hands!" and "Stop walking towards me!" before opening fire.

Attorneys said Brown obeyed all commands by both police and the dispatcher, and Virginia State Police confirmed he was unarmed, according to NBC 12.

Brown was hospitalized in an intensive care unit with wounds to the face, neck, chest, and pelvic area, news reports said at the time. He remained in the hospital for a month, but survived.

Turbyfill was indicted in July on a charge of "reckless handling of a firearm."