Just a day after former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was declared guilty of murdering George Floyd, the police shot Andrew Brown Jr in Elizabeth City, N.C. The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s office had hesitated to provide concrete details on the incident until Monday when Brown’s family was shown a 20-second body camera footage of the deadly shooting.
Brown’s families had anticipated seeing the videos before noon on Monday but weren’t able to do so due to the redactions required by the county attorneys. When his family finally viewed the video clip, they said that Brown was not posing a threat to the authorities and shouldn’t have been shot. His son, Khalil Ferebee was seen telling reporters: “My dad got executed just trying to save his own life” and that is nothing less than a grave injustice.
Andrew Brown Jr’s attorney stated that the video showed Brown in the car as it was obstructed in the parkway in Elizabeth City by the police, escaping out of the question. The attorney further described how Brown’s hands were secured on the steering wheel, clearly indicating that he wasn’t reaching for anything that could be a potential threat for the authorities. Despite Brown’s cooperation, the police officials “ran up to his vehicle shooting” and shot him on the back of his head.
His loved ones concluded that Brown did make a partial attempt to drive past but was shot at before he even moved his car. Family attorney Cherry-Lassiter suggested that the authorities were openly firing at him before he even tried to escape, even though “he was not threatening them in any form or fashion.”
Although the shooting triggered massive protests in Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy S. Wooten was quick to declare that the incident happened all too quickly, and nothing can be concluded until investigators get more information. He also acknowledged that the body camera footage is unreliable as they are usually blurred and difficult to interpret.
Andrew Brown Jr’s shooting enraged his family who was further dissatisfied about the multiple redactions and the continuous delay faced to watch a “snippet” of the video clip. Benjamin Camp, another family attorney, was furious when the officials released a search warrant for Brown, citing the double standards of the authorities who were inclined to redact faces of police officers involved in the shooting and yet, were going on writing “all kinds of things” about Andrew Brown Jr.
Michael Cox, a Pasquotank County Attorney had declared how the law allows them to blur the faces of people in the video, citing the reason for the delay in Brown’s family viewing the video. The family criticized the authorities for only showing them a 20-second video of the death of their loved one, allegedly pointing out how no dash camera footage was shown.
Initial reports of the shooting in Elizabeth City and death of Andrew Brown, Jr. this week are tragic and extremely concerning. The body camera footage should be made public as quickly as possible and the SBI should investigate thoroughly to ensure accountability.
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) April 23, 2021
Andrew Brown Jr’s search warrant released Monday declares him guilty of selling several drugs to people. At present, the circumstances surrounding the death of the 42-year-old man still seem unclear. Around seven deputies have been put on leave and three have tendered their resignations. Governor Roy Cooper went on to term the entire incident as tragic. He has asked for officials to conduct an extensive investigation “to ensure accountability.”