GBI Investigating Cobb Police Shooting of Austell Man
An afternoon traffic stop that turned into a police chase has left an Austell man dead, the GBI investigating, and a family in mourning. The shooting of Devonte Dawayne Brown by Cobb Police Officers was captured on video by a passing motorist. The disturbing video has been playing on news channels and circulating across social media platforms, It shows the very moment that Brown, 28, was killed by a Cobb Police officer outside a Marietta automotive shop on Powder Springs Road.
Brown’s death came after a brief police chase, that at the outset started as a random traffic stop. Police initially indicated that they tried to pull Brown over because he was driving a stolen car, but later said they tried to stop Brown because he was driving erratically. According to the GBI statement, Brown “initially pulled over, but then refused to comply and sped away.” Cobb County Police and Cobb County Sheriff’s deputies chased Brown and at “one point, the officers attempted to box in the vehicle,” the authorities said.
The video clearly shows police cars surrounding Browns’ vehicle as it tried to drive in and out of the driveway of a business. Police cars have Brown’s car boxed in from all sides and several officers are outside of their vehicles giving commands to Brown. At one point, an officer begins firing his weapon towards Brown’s car. Nearly a dozen rounds can be heard on the video. There was no indication on the recording that any other officer fired their weapon.
The GBI is investigating, but issued a preliminary statement that said, “During this incident, Brown attempted to get away and hit multiple police vehicles.” It continued saying, “As police officers were trying to take Brown into custody, a Cobb County Police Department officer fired his gun, striking Brown.”
Brown was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. While a “handgun was found in the vehicle,” the GBI statement did not specify whether Brown ever picked up the weapon or pointed it at police before he was killed. No witnesses have come forward to say they saw Brown point a weapon and it is unknown at this time what police video may show.
NBC News contacted Brown’s biological aunt, who says she is also his adoptive mom, for comment. Monica Brown said that her nephew was a truck driver and father of four young children. Expressing concern, she went on to say that she was troubled by the video and believes her loved one didn’t need to be shot. “I feel like this was excessive force,” she told the new station. “He couldn’t go anywhere. They surrounded him.” She said she asked, “‘Was there any way you could have de-escalated the situation where we could still have him with us?'”
The victim’s brother, Justice Brown, told Channel 2′s Chris Jose, “It definitely wasn’t justified. They definitely were not supposed to shoot him.”
Brown’s aunt said she’s spoken to Cobb County Internal Affairs and is waiting to speak with state investigators.
GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles issued a statement that said, “It is still very early in the case so at this time, there is no other information to report at this time as the case is under investigation.”
Brown’s death comes after a similar traffic stop by police in June. According to a Cobb County arrest warrant, on June 3, Cobb Police previously came across Brown and charged him with a count of obstruction in connection with another attempted traffic stop.
It is unknown if the officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation by the GBI.