Sister Offers Update on Gay Black Man Shot 10 Times: His Condition Still 'Touch and Go'

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday May 3, 2021

Isiah Brown
Isiah Brown  (Source:Screencap/CNN)

Yolanda Brown, the sister of Isiah Brown, an out gay Black man who was shot 10 times by a sheriff's deputy in the early morning hours of April 22, says that her brother's condition remains critical and he hasn't regained consciousness, The Advocate reports.

The publication had contacted Yolanda Brown to ask about her brother and get her perspective on questions surrounding policing and Black men.

Yolanda told The Advocate that Isiah remained in the ICU. "It's still touch and go," she said. "His vitals are up one minute and down the next, and he hasn't regained consciousness."

Asked how the family was doing, Yolanda spoke to the difficulty of living in uncertainty, not knowing yet whether Isiah would survive.

"We're all just trying to hang in there, and support Isaiah as best we can," Yolanda said, before going on to add that her "heart goes out to all the families that have had to deal with this situation.

"We need to figure out why this keeps happening and where all the failures are coming from," she added. "How to fix this is the million-dollar question. I have other brothers, and I don't want them to continue walking around in fear."

As previously reported at EDGE, the same sheriff's deputy who shot Isiah Brown had given him a ride home about an hour earlier, after Brown's car broke down.

Not long after the deputy brought him home, Brown got into an argument with his brother, and called 911.

CNN's Polo Sandoval reported on air that in the 911 call recording "you can actually hear Brown having an argument with his brother; at one point in conversation Brown threatens to kill his brother.

"Brown is also heard asking his brother for a gun, but his brother refuses, and then, seconds later, Brown tells dispatchers that he does not have a gun and that he's not armed as he walks into the street, and that's when you begin to hear those sirens approaching."

CNN played an excerpt from the 911 recording in which the dispatcher can be heard asking, "Isiah, are you holding your hands up?" Isiah does not respond, but the deputy can be heard shouting, "Show me your hands!"

"Put your hands up," the dispatcher urges.

Again, there is no response from Isiah, but the deputy can be heard: "Show me your hands now! Show me your hands! Drop the gun!"

News reports said Brown was still on the phone with the dispatcher using the house phone, which the deputy seemingly mistook for a gun.

A New York Times article offered more detail. "After finding Mr. Brown walking in a road and talking to a 911 dispatcher, the deputy said, 'He's got a gun to his head,' " the Times reported.

The deputy reportedly shouted, "Drop the gun now!" and "Stop walking towards me! Stop walking towards me! Stop! Stop!" before opening fire.

The 911 recording picked up Brown's brother asking, "Does he still have the house phone?"

The deputy is heard on the recording asking: "Where is the gun at? Where is the gun?"

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.