FORT LAUDERDALE — Broward Sheriff Scott Israel has referred the investigation into the 2001 death of businessman Oral Brown to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The move makes good on a campaign promise Israel made while running against then-Sheriff Al Lamberti last year.
"As of today, our review of the Oral Brown case has been turned over to the FBI," confirmed Veda Coleman-Wright, manager of BSO's Public Information Office, in an email sent in response to questions from the South Florida Times.
Israel had pledged to scrutinize the case files of the incident in which the Jamaican native died while being attended to by first responders.
Beyond confirmation of the new development, the Broward Sheriff's Office released no other comments or details regarding the decision to ask the FBI to look into the case. Brown was involved in a single-car, rollover accident in 2001 at the Swap Shop in Fort Lauderdale while suffering what is believed to have been a seizure.
Sheriff's deputies and emergency personnel said Brown was combative after being freed from the overturned wreckage and had to be forcibly subdued.
Brown was hog-tied and then strapped face-down on a stretcher and taken to a hospital. Upon arrival at the hospital he still hog-tied was not breathing and with no pusle. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead.
Hospital staff called police and a homicide investigation was started, which found his death to be an accident.
The Broward Medical Examiner's Office said his death was due to the manner in which he was hog-tied, but also ruled it an accident.
A grand jury that heard the case reached the same conclusion. Brown’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit and the case is still pending in the courts.
However, new information uncovered in an ongoing series of South Florida Times investigations has raised questions regarding the official versions of Brown's death.
“Sheriff Israel has kept his campaign promise to render justice for Mr. Brown’s death,” said a statement released by the family’s attorney, Michael Winer. “Mr. Brown’s family is satisfied with Sheriff Israel’s decision to turn the investigation over to the FBI.”
*Pictured above is Broward Sheriff Scott Israel.
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