Bodycam video showed Andrew Brown Jr. with hands-on car wheel being shot by N.C. deputies
On Monday, they were shown just 20 seconds of body-camera video that seemed to show the man with his hands on the steering wheel of his car before he was murdered, said the family of a North Carolina man shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies.
Viewing was postponed
Dear ones of Andrew Brown Jr., 42, was expected to be shown the bodycam video just before noon Monday, but the viewing was delayed for several hours because the county attorney looked for redactions, family attorneys said.
In the video of 20 seconds
Even in 20 seconds of video, Brown’s dear ones said, it was clear that he wasn’t a danger to law enforcement and shouldn’t have been shot to death.
His dad had got executed just trying to save his own life, son Khalil Ferebee told reporters outside the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office. It was not right. It was not right at all.
Family attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said the video showed Brown in his automobile as it was stopped in the driveway in Elizabeth City by law enforcement, making an escape unattainable. NBC News hasn’t watched the video.
Andrew had had his hands on his steering wheel. He was not reaching for anything. He hadn’t been touching anything, she said.
They had run-up to his vehicle shooting. He had stood still there, sat there in his vehicle, with his hands on the steering wheel while being shot at.
Attorney Harry Daniels told The Associated Press, that yes, it was the back of the head when asked whether Brown was shot in the back.
The family admitted that Brown did try to drive away — but said he was shot before he tried to escape. Shell casings were flying in the video before his vehicle proceeded, Cherry-Lassiter said.
His car had been riddled with bullets, shooting him when he was not threatening them in any form or fashion, she said. There had been shell casing before he even moved. So they had been shooting at him when he had been sitting there with his hands on the steering wheel in the driveway.
Incident was quick
Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy S. Wooten in a video statement later Monday marked the incident as quick and said that outside investigators were interrogating witnesses and interviewing more information.
That tragic incident had been quick and over in less than 30 seconds, and body cameras were shaky and sometimes hard to decipher, Wooten said. They only told part of the story.
Redaction of video
The redactions and the delay angered Brown’s family, especially in light of a search warrant affidavit justifying why deputies sought to arrest him and detailing allegations against him.
They had released a warrant saying all types of things about Andrew Brown, but they wanted to redact the face of police officers that had shot Andrew Brown? said Benjamin Crump, another attorney representing the family.
Then, Andrew Brown had not killed anybody. The police had killed Andrew Brown. But they were going to protect them and not show their face and not say their names so they could see what their rap sheet was, he said.
The state law permits them to blur some faces on the video and that process takes time, said Pasquotank County Attorney R. Michael Cox in a statement earlier in the day.
The family protested that they had been shown 20 seconds of bodycam video from just one of at least eight responding deputies. No dash-cam video had been shown, they said.
Cox couldn’t be instantly reached for comment late Monday afternoon.
Accusation on drugs charges
Authorities said that Brown had been killed Wednesday as deputies sought to serve a warrant for his arrest on felony drug charges. Brown was accused of selling cocaine, crack, meth, and heroin by a search warrant affidavit made public Monday.
The circumstances of his death remain unclear. Three have quit; a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said their resignations were unrelated to the shooting. Seven deputies have been put on administrative leave.
Period of civil unrest
The shooting took place in a residential neighborhood in Elizabeth City, which is about 35 miles south of Norfolk, Virginia.
Earlier Monday, Elizabeth City Mayor Bettie Parker announced a state of emergency ahead of the release of the video and a possible “period of civil unrest.” Only a judge can publicly release the video.
The announcement cleared a way for the city to get state and federal assistance to protect their citizens, Parker said.
Protestors in Elizabeth City
On Monday, a community of around 17,600, protesters went out in the streets in Elizabeth City, with some saying the redacted video showed a cover-up, NBC affiliate WAVY reported.
Sayings of authorities
When a SWAT-style team tried to serve the warrants last week, Brown was hit, sheriff’s officials have said. Brown was a convicted felon with a history of resisting arrest, which meant the procedure was regarded to have a higher threat than others, authorities said.
The government called for an investigation
Gov. Roy Cooper has said that Brown’s death had been very tragic and extremely concerning and he has called for a state investigation “to make sure of accountability”.