Robert Brown: Family claims San Bernardino police planted gun before deadly shooting

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – A family is seeking justice after their son was shot and killed by a San Bernardino police officer following a traffic stop.  

The deadly incident happened on December 27, 2023, when Robert Brown was pulled over for a traffic violation by a motorcycle cop in the area of 7th Street and Sierra Way.

Body-worn camera shows Brown fleeing from the car as the officer approached. The officer gave chase and followed Brown on foot as he ran through backyards. Brown then jumped a fence and the officer shot at him multiple times through the wired fence, which had wood panels on the other side, seemingly obstructing the officer’s sight.  

The family’s attorney Brad Gage said the officer fired four to five rounds, ultimately killing Brown.

Gage said Brown wasn’t armed and believes the police department planted a gun at the crime scene.  

“They spent hours trying to find a so-called gun that they say was so clear. If they could see a gun, they would know where it was, they wouldn’t have spent hours looking for it. According to neighbors, they were looking and looking everywhere and couldn’t find a gun. It doesn’t ring true to me what they are saying,” Gage said during a press conference Friday afternoon.  

The police department in a statement said Brown ignored the officer’s commands to drop the weapon and get down onto the ground. The department also said the weapon, a 9mm handgun, was reported stolen from out of state.

The family is now seeking $20 million in damages.  

As part of the claim, Gage said the officer endangered the community and violated safety policies.  

“He does not say that we are in pursuit, that’s a violation of policy. He does not say the location where he’s at, that’s a safety violation for the officer and everybody else. He does not wait for backup, he doesn’t even call for backup. His tactics are atrocious, they violate the rules, they violate the state of California guidelines of how to have proper police procedures,” Gage explained.  

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The family is hoping the officer will be held accountable for his actions. His family said Brown was a hardworking father to a 6-year-old boy. They believe Brown was racially profiled. He does have a criminal record, however, the attorney said the officer didn’t know of his record prior to the traffic stop. The car Brown was in was registered to his father, who doesn’t have a criminal record.

“He loved helping people. He didn’t deserve to die like that. He didn’t deserve to die. He ran, so what? To shoot him in the back for a traffic infraction and to say he had a gun? Come on people. They’re murders, simple as that,” his father Willy Brown emotionally said during the press conference. 

San Bernardino Police Department Sergeant Chris Gray released the following statement to FOX 11:

“The investigation for us is still ongoing and we have no further comment at this time, thank you.”

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.