The family of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man shot dead by police while being served with warrants, demanded on Saturday (April 24) the release of video from the the body-worn camera of a sheriff’s deputy who fired the shot.
The shooting in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, coming a day after the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd after a highly publicized trial, triggered three days of small, peaceful protests in the river-front community of about 18,000 residents, half of whom are African American.
Family members of the 42-year-old man remembered him as a good father and vowed to seek justice for his death.
“This family have not been afforded the opportunity to see what happened. They can only speculate what others are saying, rumors. That it’s not how it’s done here. It is not how it should be done in this United States of America. Transparency should be had and they wonder why there’s no trust for law enforcement. They wonder why Black folk don’t trust the police,” Harry Daniels, a lawyer representing the family told a news conference on Saturday (April 24).
Local authorities said the shooting occurred as deputies were trying to serve an arrest warrant and search warrant on Brown stemming from a felony drug charge.
“A warrant is not permission to shoot someone possibly with assault rifles multiple times. It is not the authorization to shoot someone in the back,” said civil rights leader Rev. Dr. William Barber.
The city council of Elizabeth City HAS formally requested that the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney Andrew Womble and state authorities release the video.
If the request is denied, the council’s unanimously passed resolution directs the city attorney to seek a court order compelling the release of video showing the shooting.
(Production: Pavithra George)