NAACP requests probe into shooting
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The Pittsburgh National Association for the Advancement of Colored People wants officials to launch "an independent investigation" into the shooting of an armed East Liberty teenager by an Allegheny County sheriff's deputy, the organization said Friday.
Deputy Sean Green shot Odell Brown, 19, with his patrol rifle on Wednesday after Mr. Brown pointed a realistic looking gun at the deputy and threatened him, capping a 90-minute standoff, Pittsburgh police said. Officers were called to North Euclid Street on reports that an agitated Mr. Brown was pacing the street armed with a handgun. Only after Mr. Brown was dead did investigators learn the gun fired only pellets.
"The NAACP along with the community at large has questions regarding the two-hour negotiations that resulted in the death of Odell Brown," the organization's president M. Gayle Moss wrote in a news release. "Questions like, if a mother knew it was a pellet gun, why wasn't that information relayed to officers? Are we treated differently than others? Was every measure taken to spare the life of Odell?"
Police officials have described the shooting as a case of "suicide by police officer," as Mr. Brown said during the standoff that he no longer wished to live. Negotiations with Mr. Brown were unsuccessful, and the deputy fired because he felt his life was at risk, Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper has said.
First Published June 16, 2012 12:00 am