You may recall that we discussed the disturbing case involving the shooting of Andrew Lee Scott, 26, an entirely innocent man who was killed by Florida police after they went to the wrong home to arrest an attempted murder suspect, did not announce they were officers, pounded on a door at 1:30 am and then shot and killed Scott when he pointed a gun at the strangers at his door. They were looking for Jonathan Brown who is suspected of attempted murder and insisted that they had little choice in the shooting. Now, to compound the tragedy, it turns out that Brown was also completely innocent. Brown was exonerated after being charged with attempted murder when witnesses established that there was no crime to begin with. In fact, the witnesses suggested that Brown was something of a hero. The family is now in court and, while the charges were dropped some time ago, I wanted to run an update on the case.
The incident occurred at a party when two of Brown’s friends got into a fight over a girl. Brown intervened to try to break up the fight and then left on a motorcycle. A Leesburg Police Department radio transmission however said that Brown was charged with assault and was fleeing on a motorcycle. It is not clear how a false assault report became an attempted murder charge. Brown parked his motorcycle near his residence and police for some unexplained reason just assumed that whatever door was closest must be his apartment. That is when they started to bang on the door at 1:30 in the morning. They were not in uniform. They did not identify themselves and they tried to partially conceal themselves from people in the apartment. It is little surprise that Scott thought they might be robbing him or trying to break into his apartment. When he answered the door with a gun in his hand, he was shoot repeatedly by Deputy Richard Sylvester. Notably, reports indicate that one of the bullets went through the door before striking Scott.
Brown was later arrested without incident in his apartment. Brown said that he was then abused by police officers and correctional officers. His lawyer objected that police overcharged the case in an effort to make it look more serious in the aftermath of the killing. The fact that he was charged with attempted murder rather than assault seems to support that theory.
It took five months for the truth to come out — long after the story of the “attempted murderer” had passed from the media. In the meantime, Brown said that he was kicked out of school, lost his job, and many of his friends. He was studying to become a licensed practical nurse.
The Lake County Sheriff’s office issued a statement saying simply, “The dismissal of the Leesburg Police Department charges against Jonathan Brown does not impact the situation involving Andrew Scott in any way.” The police cleared all of the officers, including Sylvester, and found that they acted appropriately in the death of Andrew Lee Scott.
Source: Tallahassee News