A Black man named Simeon Brown was shot by a Margate, Florida lieutenant firefighter on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2, after driving through a block party orchestrated by members of local law enforcement to commemorate the annual football championship game. Lorne Brown, the firefighter in question, shot Brown multiple times following a verbal dispute between the 22-year-old, his friend who was following him in a separate car, and members of the neighborhood attending the block party, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.
Simeon Brown and the driver of the other vehicle drove around the cones on a Cooper City street that had been blocked off for the event. A verbal dispute transpired shortly after as they drove through the party with one neighbor kicking one of the cars. Officials said the drivers left the area and eventually returned after dropping off one of the cars.
The firefighter and another neighbor approached the vehicle with their guns drawn. He then fired a shot into the car, striking Simeon Brown in the arm twice, according to officials.
Lee Merritt, the civil rights attorney who is representing the 22-year-old, said in a press release that Simeon Brown “was able to navigate the car he was driving away from the gunfire before losing control of his vehicle a short distance from the shooting.”
“Simeon Brown and his passengers exited the vehicle and attempted to put more distance between themselves and the assailant but were chased down and further assaulted by individuals claiming to be law enforcement,” the press release continued.
Simeon Brown explained that he was driving his girlfriend home after celebrating her birthday. He also said that she lives on the next block over from where the party was being held and he turned a block too early, according to the Sun-Sentinel. “I remember saying ‘I got shot, I got shot.’ Then I crashed into two trucks that looked like they had barricaded us in the street,” he said.
Lorne Brown, who has been employed with the Margate-Coconut Creek Fire Rescue Department for 25 years, was arrested on Thursday on charges including first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a firearm and shooting or throwing a missile into a vehicle, according to Broward Sheriff’s Office officials.
Lorne Brown appeared in court Friday morning and was ordered to remain behind bars, without bond.
A spokesman for the Margate Police Department has confirmed that the firefighter is still on the department’s payroll, as he has been suspended with pay.
Simeon Brown sustained several injuries from the shooting, a bullet shattered a portion of the bones in his left arm and a bullet fragment was lodged in his neck. Following two surgical procedures, one on his neck and one on his arm, doctors were able to remove the bullet from Brown’s neck.
Merritt’s release indicated that Simeon Brown was also the victim of a “brutal arrest.” His client is “seeking additional charges against the police officers that participated in the subsequent arrest and assault.”