DeLand officer fired for hitting, killing man with patrol car

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DELAND, Fla. - Officials said a DeLand police officer, who hit and killed a man with his patrol car in early May, has been fired from the department.

Officer James Harris was initially placed on suspension after the incident, which happened during the early morning hours of May 8.

Troopers said Marlon Brown was fatally run over by Harris, who was pursuing Brown after he fled from a traffic stop. According to officials, Brown got out of his car and was struck by Harris' patrol car as he tried to run away.

The incident has since been under investigation by both the Florida Highway Patrol and the DeLand Police Department.

In a statement from DeLand Police Chief William Ridgway, he said he was made "aware of certain facts surrounding the case" and "reached a threshold of knowledge," leading him to take immediate action. Ridgway said Harris was terminated Friday afternoon.

Ridgway also said the investigation into the death of Brown hasn't been concluded, but said the decision was made in the best interests of the community, the city and the department.

Brown's family told WFTV they want Harris charged with vehicular homicide or manslaughter.

"I think the evidence is so compelling that it's a no-brainer at this point," said Krystal Brown, Marlon Brown's ex-wife.

Krystal Brown said the family has filed a lawsuit against the city of DeLand, but what they want more than anything is answers.

"Whether it be race, religion, no one deserves the hand that Marlon has been dealt," Krystal Brown said.

A spokeswoman for the Florida Highway Patrol said the investigation should be wrapped up in about 30 days.