In a report released today involving the death of James Marcus Brown on August 29, 2015, the Clark County District Attorney’s Office has determined that the actions of a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer (LVMPD) were legally justified and reasonable.
On August 29, 2015, a woman leaving the Siegel Slots and Suites on E. Craig Road was approached by Mr. Brown who grabbed her phone and then got into a nearby vehicle which fled the scene. She followed him and saw him get into a gold Oldsmobile. She called 911 and the information she provided was dispatched to patrol units. A LVMPD officer, driving an un-marked vehicle in the area, saw the suspect vehicle and requested that a marked patrol vehicle respond to conduct a vehicle stop. The marked patrol vehicle arrived in the area and initiated the vehicle stop with lights and sirens. The Oldsmobile did not initially stop, but when it did, it was at the overpass on Cheyenne Avenue and I-15. Mr. Brown immediately exited the Oldsmobile and ran down the hill of the on-ramp. The officer in the marked patrol unit saw Mr. Brown drop a handgun. He broadcast that Mr. Brown had a gun. The officer driving the unmarked LVMPD vehicle drove around to the parking lot of the Denny’s restaurant Mr. Brown was running toward. As the officer exited his vehicle, Mr. Brown ran past him into the desert area that paralleled Losee Road. The officer pursued him on foot and saw that he was holding a handgun in his right hand. He gave repeated commands for Mr. Brown to stop. When he did not obey the commands, the officer deployed his taser, which had no effect on Mr. Brown. While still holding his gun, Mr. Brown turned toward the officer. At that point, the officer believe he was going to be shot so he fired his weapon, striking Mr. Brown twice. Both wounds were fatal.
The autopsy revealed that Mr. Brown had Amphetamine, Methamphetamine and THC in his system.
"Mr. Brown posed an immediate threat to the officer pursuing him and the citizens in the area," said District Attorney Steve Wolfson. "The fact that he was armed, refused to obey the officer’s commands, and that the use of the taser had no effect on him, left the officer with no choice but to use lethal force."
A Police Fatality Public Fact-Finding Review was conducted in this incident on June 30, 2016. Clark County Code mandates such a review when a police-involved death occurs, and the prosecutor preliminarily determines that no criminal prosecution of the officers is appropriate
The determination that the officers acted lawfully in this situation is based upon the evidence available at this time. The case could be reexamined if new information comes to light.
The full report is available on the District Attorney’s Web page.