Family asks feds to probe death of man accused of shooting Wilmington detective

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Submitted: Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:49am
Updated: Thu, 07/17/2014 - 3:26am

By Adam Wagner

An attorney representing Brandon Smith’s family is calling for a US Department of Justice investigation into the circumstances surrounding Smith’s death, according to a letter sent July 10.

Smith was shot and killed Oct. 13 after a car chase and foot pursuit. That came three days after officials said he shot New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Detective Michael Spencer in the leg following an exchange in the Creekwood neighborhood.

The letter from attorney Katy Parker raises questions about why officers who worked closely with Spencer were involved in the pursuit rather than others with fewer ties to the case, where the gun that Smith supposedly had is, the use or lack thereof of police dogs and the SABLE helicopter during the pursuit of Smith, what officers said to Smith before opening fire and why law enforcement hasn’t yet released information to Parker including text messages, voice messages and emails between officers during the period between Oct. 10 and Oct. 13.

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  • salli says:

    Shot him 27 times & u say they didn’t want that?!

  • J says:

    Had Mr. Smith given up peacefully, he’d have been sentenced to life in prison. And had his attempt at murdering Detective Spencer been successful, he’d have received the death penalty. So I don’t know what the family is complaining about; either way Mr. Smith is off the streets forever. How anyone on the planet could have sympathy for such scum of the earth is beyond me. I feel bad for the family who lost someone that they unconditionally loved, but Detective Spencer has family that loves him unconditionally, and its a better outcome for everyone that he gets to live and the person who tried to murder him doesn’t. Detective Spencer took a bullet for all the innocent people who live in fear of thugs like Mr. Smith. When you attempt to murder a Detective who’s trying to protect the innocent people so you can continue terrorizing the community, its time to pay the piper.

  • john gotti says:

    Looks like the cops in Ferguson, MO took lessons from these guys…..

  • waste of time says:

    This is just a lawyer trying to find something to sue for. I think she should have to pay all expenses for this waste of time.

  • Rusty Sprocket says:

    It’s no wonder that the family of someone that contributed absolutely nothing positive to society, spit in face of law and order, and went so far as to shoot a police officer is going for a money grab. Where do you think Brandon Smith learned his lack of values from? Let me answer that one…his family. As for why the police didn’t use different officers in their pursuit of Mr. Smith, didn’t use K9’s, or the SABLE helicopter…that question can only be answered by one man, and one man alone. A man whose vast intellect is only eclipsed by his mouth. A man that can tell you the facts and place judgement without one shred of evidence or investigation…Jason Vaughn. I’ll be sitting in front of my television, waiting for him to provide all the answers so that I can sleep better at night.

  • Gramps1945 says:

    He, and his Baby’s MaMa, are a good example of why we are so stupid. Dumping millions into Creekwood, each year, further heightening this problem.

  • zenobia says:

    Many thugs, when cornered, now open fire with everything they have because they are sure the police will execute them instead of arresting them. This eventually leads to no one ever surrendering, and more and more police being killed by desperate cornered individuals with nothing to lose. Full disclosure and discussion of this case may lead to the next thug surrendering quietly, instead of shooting an officer in the head on his way out such as happened in New Jersey.

  • portcity says:

    I guess thats why there are sooo many shootouts between thugs and cops around here. Its the opposite of what you are saying because Officers are now more likely to shoot when they feel threating because “thugs” are becoming ignorant and violent. The idiots that that think the Officers are to blame are wrong. The “thugs” that are shooting, robbing, and killing each other and innocent victims are the cause. Or can you make an argument that the kids that robbed the work crew at checkers was the cops fault also??? There are consequence for stupid behavor, sometimes it is even death…

  • Rusty says:

    Every cop that has had to use deadly force lives with that the rest of their life; do you really think that they wanted that? Unlike some if not most of the people they shoot they have morals, values, a conscience and a sense of right and wrong else they wouldn’t have elected to put themselves in harms way to PROTECT the citizens that still give a damn about law and order.

  • Guest2020 says:

    If I am not mistaken, the DA’s report of what happened includes where the officers talked to the family and asked them to encourage Smith to “surrender quietly”. The family members they talked to told them that Smith had no intentions of going back to prison. This was not an execution. This was police firing on an individual, who was considered armed and dangerous, after he ran, after he refused to show his hands, after he reached into his pants and pulled out an object that he pointed at police. The person responsible for Brandon Smith’s death is Brandon Smith.

  • portcity says:

    If Mr. Smith would have found and attorney and turned himself in before he was chased and shot then he would still be alive. HIS Dumb A** decisions cost him his life. All this family is doing is “poking” at the department even more and pissing off more hard working officers. Its not smart to create more tension with officers when your family already lives a life of crime. Just creating more attention.

  • Bholmes says:

    Really? You have got to be kidding me! This was a worthless piece of crap that had several run in’s with law enforcement! I reckon he should have gotten the chance to live in prison after attempting to kill a officer so you people need to get a life and a job!

  • Guesto says:

    Investigation? Are you @$#&×@$ serious?! This worthless THUG shot a law enforcement officer who was carrying out his official duties! This worthless THUG deserved what he got! A one-way ticket to Hell! And worthless THUGS are now threatening to kill officers in New Jersey! We need to clean up this country, and we need to do it NOW!!

  • beach guy says:

    somebody trying to get paid!!!
    Some ambulance chaser has talked this family(and it didn’t take much I guarantee you) to try and get and angle so they can to file a lawsuit so they can all get paid$$$$$ it is despicable.

    Here’s the conversation Lawyer..sorry for your loss it is a crying shame that your family member was killed by the police they should be made to pay for their abuse.

    Family Replies ..PAY HOW MUCH???
    Lawyer… I do not know exactly I will try and get a settlement without going through a civil trial but whatever it is I get 40% if we lose I get nothing.
    Family… sounds like a no lose situation yes we want Ju$tice but mostly we want money

  • Guest2020 says:

    If they have sought an attorney, it appears that they are angling for a reason to file a suit and they cannot do that until they get an investigation that offers a solution that fits their desired outcome.

    The man was identified by a victim in a home invasion. The victim said that Smith put the gun in her face and pulled the trigger. The victim only lived to tell about it because the gun malfunctioned.

    In the days before his death, Smith shot at two police officers, hitting one of them in the leg. Arrest warrants were issued and the police tried in vain to find him and bring him in without injury. Numerous sources stated that he said he was not going to give himself up and that he was not going back to prison. He was rightly considered armed and dangerous. As the police were searching for him, he was spotted in a car, the police pursued and the driver fled. When the driver stopped the car, Smith got out and ran. Officers gave chase. They ordered Smith to show his hands and he refused. Not only did he refuse, he reached into his pants and pulled out an object and pointed it at the officers. The officers took the only reasonable recourse available and shot at him.

    Brandon Smith is dead because of his actions. He is dead because he refused to be smart and simply place his hands where the officers could see them and to determine that he was not an immediate threat.

    I don’t see how any proper investigation could deliver a different outcome. The officers were justified in their shooting of Smith.

  • Me Myself, and I says:

    The guy was a drug dealer. Who tried to murder a deputy. Who chose to resist. Further threatening the lives, of more deputies. But facts don’t matter. To these people.

  • tke1 says:

    There was a tv ad for one of the professional civil attorneys a few years ago which made the statement about the money from a settlement: “you deserve this money”. What they left out was: “And I want a big chunk of it no matter how I have to lie to get it.”
    Attorneys know that most government entities will settle out of court because it is cheaper in the short term (Relate this to trying to feed a shark to death.) and it is fairly easy money.
    Detective Spencer’s family should sue Brandon Smith’s family for his injury, pain and suffering, etc. and get his judgment in first so if the county settles out of court, the Spencers can get their claim on that money. Some astute attorney should jump on that, but there is no good chance of getting anything but a judgment from the Smiths.

  • portcity says:

    If Mr. Smith would have found and attorney and turned himself in before he was chased and shot then he would still be alive. HIS Dumb A** decisions cost him his life. All this family is doing is “poking” at the department even more and pissing off more hard working officers. Its not smart to create more tension with officers when your family already lives a life of crime. Just creating more attention.

  • Heimie Schmelter says:

    Your criminal son SHOT a detective with a stolen handgun, then he ran. He was pursued. When located again, he ran AGAIN and hid in the woods, rejecting commands to come out with his hands up. Bad DECISIONS, all around! Key word being “DECISIONS”. He made choices and those choices got him killed. He’s no different than any other criminal and the outcome is no different either.

    We all have choices to make in our lives, he made his and received his consequences. He had ample opportunities to make better DECISIONS that would’ve had a totally different outcome. So you’re going to follow in his footsteps and make poor DECISIONS by throwing good money away toward bad? Just remember, every tick of your clock that you hear while talking to your lawyer are nothing other than big dollar signs sucking down a dark, endless drain.

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