DeLAND, Fla. - The DeLand police officer who investigators say ran over and killed a 38-year-old man earlier this month has been fired on Friday.
DeLand Police Chief William Ridgeway released a statement on Friday, "terminating the probationary employment of Officer J.P. Harris."
Marlon Brown was killed in the incident, which occurred on May 8 after law enforcement officers tried to pull him over for not wearing a seat belt. Investigators say Brown wouldn't stop and a chase ensued with DeLand police joining. Brown jumped out of his car and ran away, troopers said.
As Harris arrived on scene, he drove more than 100 feet off the road through a backyard fence and ran over and killed Brown, troopers said. Four other passengers in Brown's vehicle were not injured.
"Although the investigation into the death of Marlon Brown hasn't been concluded, I am aware of certain facts surrounding the case," Ridgeway said in a prepared statement. "Based on the totality of the circumstances and facts that I continually learned through the process of the investigation, I have now reached a threshold of knowledge where I feel compelled to take immediate action."
It's not known why Brown fled police, but troopers said he was driving with a suspended license.
Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating the traffic accident.
"This is a regrettable and tragic situation for everyone involved," Harris said. "This decision was made in the best interests of the community, the city, and the department."
Krystal Brown, Marlon's ex-wife and the mother of his two children, has been demanding that Harris be held accountable.
"It's the first step of course. We're looking for a lot more to be done," Brown said. "We actually want charges. Just a termination is not good enough, but it's a start."
Marlon's 12-year-old son is still trying to cope with life without his father.
"Something was not done right," said Brown. "We've all known that from the beginning."
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