Edward Brown, shot by Phoenix police in August, says he was racially profiled

PHOENIX - A Valley man is looking for justice after he claims he was racially profiled and police used excessive force when the opened fire on him back in August.

Edward Brown, now paralyzed from the chest down by a single gunshot to his back, is seeking answers from the Phoenix Police Department.

Brown was shot by a Phoenix officer on August 5, 2018. Police say they responded to a suspicious call about possible drug activity in an alley near I-17 and Indian School.

Two officers on patrol arrived to find several people in the alley, according to the police report. Police allege Brown took off when police showed up. 

Police quote Brown as saying he ran because of a felony warrant, though the report does not detail what the warrant is for.

Police chased Brown through several yards and cornered him as he attempted to hop over a fence near 19th Ave just north of Indian School. 

According to the police report, the officer removed his gun and kept it in the “low ready” position as he shouted at Brown, saying, “I have you at gunpoint. Stop! Stop! Let me see your hands!”

The report states Brown “slowly” got off the fence and “began to reach down towards his shoe.” The report also states Brown’s back was towards the officer and hunched over.

The report states, that the officer kept giving commands when Brown began to walk towards him and then “charged at the officer.”

The officer then stated that Brown made a “swipe for his gun to grab it,” and the officer “felt the tip of his gun get grazed.”

The officer then stated he “backed off” and “stepped off line and fired a shot.  As he fired his shot the male [Brown] was passing him.”

Brown’s attorneys, which include former Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, dispute the officer’s claims.

“If Edward had been trying to take a gun from a police officer, he would’ve been shot in the front, not in the back,” said Horne.

His attorneys don’t dispute fact he ran or that his back was toward the officer when he was cornered.  Everything else, they say is not true.

“This officer is a liar,” said Rev. Jarret Maupin, who has also come to Brown's defense.

When Brown was questioned by police at the hospital, he told the officer his back was toward the officer when he heard a “boom” and felt pain.

According to the police report, Brown claimed he was shot as he slid down the fence and was not even standing fully upright when the gun went off.

He disputes the fact that he ever charged at the officer or that he ever attempted to reach for the gun.

Investigators gathered DNA from the gun and found there was no evidence of Brown’s DNA on it.

“There is absolutely no proof that this man lunged at a police officer’s gun. None,” said Maupin.

The police report details officers found a bag of marijuana on Brown, a bag he says officers planted. His attorneys say Brown had a lawful medical marijuana card.

Police also claim Brown initially lied about his name and date of birth, later learning that he was using his brother’s name and birthdate.

The bullet is still lodged in Brown's body, and he showed the scar from where it entered. He also has scarring on his shoulders from laying on the hot payment after being shot.

His attorneys also claim Brown was mistreated after he was released from the hospital. They say he is paralyzed from the chest down and needs help to get to bed or the bathroom. They claim police neglected him and because of that he wound up with sores and defecated and urinated on himself. 

Brown’s attorneys claim he was profiled for his race and police used excessive and unwarranted force when they confronted him. They claim officers had no probable cause question or detain him and they behaved out of line. 

ABC15 reached out to the Phoenix Police Department, they say they can not comment on any pending litigation. Calls to the officer’s attorney were never returned.

Brown’s family and attorneys are demanding answers.

“Now is the time for our department to tell the truth,” said Maupin.

Brown’s truth is he is wheelchair bound for the rest of his life.

“They cripple this man for life,” said Susan Little, a family member of Brown’s. “He’s young and he had his whole life ahead of him.”

Officers were not wearing body cameras when the shooting took place.

Brown’s attorney’s are planning a demonstration in front of Phoenix City Hall this Friday, September 28th at 7 p.m.

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