The Police Murder of Andrew Brown Jr. – Shot In the Back of His Head by N. Carolina Deputies

On April 21st, 2021 in the small town of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Andrew Brown Jr. was shot to death by three Pasquotank County Sheriff deputies, as deputies appeared at Brown’s home to serve a search warrant and arrest warrant for Andrew Brown Jr.

Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II and Superior Court Judge Jeff Foster refused to release the body cam footage or any additional footage of the murder.

Only one family member and family attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter were allowed to see 20 seconds of one of the officer’s body camera. Chantel said the bodycam video showed Brown posed no threat to police during Wednesday’s incident. She said the video showed Brown in his car in his driveway with his hands on the steering wheel; Cherry-Lassiter specifically stated at no point did Andrew Brown threaten or harm the seven or eight deputies present in his driveway. Cherry-Lassiter emphasized the reason Brown drove awway was because the deputies were firing at him and Brown was trying to evade sheriffs’ gunfire.

A couple of days later, the County attorney appeared in local court and told the judge that Brown backed into officers with his vehicle and struck officers when Brown drove away from the officers.

Sheriff Tommy Wooten said that the video could be released in the next few days, and the Elizabeth City Council voted unanimously to petition the Pasquotank County Sheriff to release body camera video.

NPR:

A North Carolina sheriff has identified the seven deputies who were on the scene of last week’s fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. and subsequently placed on administrative leave – four of whom have been cleared to return to duty.

Deputies shot and killed Brown, a 42-year-old Black man, while carrying out search and arrest warrants at his home on Wednesday in Elizabeth City, N.C. The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office said that Sheriff Tommy Wooten was releasing the names of the deputies on the scene as part of his promise of transparency and accountability.

Wooten said in a statement that it’s “obvious” from footage of the incident and preliminary investigation that four deputies did not fire their guns.

The three deputies who did fire shots will stay on administrative leave pending investigations, he added. They are: Investigator Daniel Meads, Deputy Sheriff II Robert Morgan and Cpl. Aaron Lewellyn. Morgan and Meads have each been with the sheriff’s office for more than five years and Lewellyn has served just over two years.

Two others resigned after the shooting incident: Deputy Sheriff II William Harris and Lt. Christopher Terry, both of whom started on the force over 11 years ago. Deputy III James Flowers, who’s been with the sheriff’s office since 2000, has decided to retire.

“After reviewing the preliminary conclusions of the independent investigators conducting the internal review, and after carefully examining the body camera footage of the incident with my own staff, it’s obvious that four of the deputies never fired their weapons and deserve to be reinstated to active duty,” Wooten said in the Thursday statement. “More investigation is necessary into the three deputies who did fire their weapons and they will remain on administrative leave pending completion of the internal investigation and/or the criminal investigation being conducted by the State Bureau of Investigation.”

Wooten, facing mounting pressure to release the body camera footage of the deadly shooting, said he has asked the state court to allow public release of the videos, which a judge on Wednesday postponed for at least 30 days.

Superior Court Judge Jeff Foster ruled that turning over the footage to the public could threaten the safety of the deputies and interfere with the state’s investigation.

Attorneys for Brown’s family said Monday that they were shown just 20 seconds of body cam footage in which deputies’ faces had been blurred and they described the action by deputies as an “execution.” District Attorney Andrew Womble disputed that conclusion, saying Brown’s car “made contact with law enforcement” before deputies opened fire.

An independent autopsy commissioned by Brown’s family concluded that Brown died from a gunshot to the back of the head.

The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into Brown’s death. Gov. Roy Cooper has called for a special prosecutor to handle the case.

Brown was fatally shot one day after a Minnesota jury found a former Minneapolis police officer guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd, another Black man.

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ADMIN:
Andrew Brown Jr., George Floyd, and countless other dead blacks who died at the hands of police, WERE INNOCENT WHEN POLICE KILLED THEM!

Let me repeat and restate that: Andrew Brown Jr. was an innocent man when deputies shot him to death, was an innocent man when he died and remains an innocent man forever.

The sheriff’s office in nearby Dare County was seeking Brown’s arrest, and according to the arrest warrant, issued on April 20 and obtained by CNN on Thursday, Brown “unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously did possess with the intent to sell and deliver a controlled substance, namely approximately three grams of cocaine.”

The issuance of a warrant for a person’s arrest does not make them guilty. Far from it.

Same for George Floyd. Floyd was an innocent man the moment police drew a gun on Floyd and forced him out of his car; Floyd was innocent during the entire nine minutes and twenty-six seconds Dereke Chauvin kept his knee on George Floyd. Floyd died an innocent man and was buried as an innocent man.

A person is innocent until proven guilty. When an arrested person is booked into jail, that person is recognized as a pre-trial detainee; The law recognizes pre-trial detainees as innocent persons. Andrew Brown and George Floyd never even made it to jail, much less a pre-trial detainee, much less a conviction.

North Carolina law says body camera video is not a public record and cannot be released without a court order. A media coalition including CNN had petitioned for the footage to be publicly released.

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Family and DA offer different accounts of his car’s movements
Brown’s family and the district attorney for the region offered different accounts Wednesday as to what led to the fatal shooting.
The family and their attorneys have been allowed to see some of the deputies’ bodycam footage and a judge ruled Wednesday the family can view more of them, but Judge Jeff Foster denied media requests to make the videos public for at least 30 days.
District Attorney Andrew Womble, the district attorney for the district that includes the county, said officers fired when the car Brown was driving moved toward them. Brown’s family and attorneys, who had watched 20 seconds of video earlier this week, said he was driving away to save his life from gunfire.
Judge denies media request for Andrew Brown videos, but allows family to view recordings
Judge denies media request for Andrew Brown videos, but allows family to view recordings
Brown’s son Khalil Ferebee said he saw his father driving away from the deputies, not toward them. Chantel Cherry-Lassiter, one of the family attorneys, said the video showed an “execution,” in which deputies shot at Brown as he sat in his car with his hands on the wheel.
However, Womble said Wednesday that Brown’s car in the video was stationary when officers approached shouting commands. Womble said in the video, as officers attempted to open a door on the car, the vehicle backed up and made contact with an officer. He said the car then stopped before moving forward and again made contact with law enforcement. After the car moved forward, shots are heard, Womble said.
North Carolina law says body camera video is not a public record and cannot be released without a court order. A media coalition including CNN had petitioned for the footage to be publicly released.
Wooten also called for the release of the video from four body cameras associated with the shooting, and said the judge’s decision was not what he wanted.
Family and officials call for release of video
Attorneys for Brown’s family said they were deeply disappointed in the judge’s ruling.
“In this modern civil rights crisis where we see Black people killed by the police everywhere we look, video evidence is the key to discerning the truth and getting well-deserved justice for victims of senseless murders,” the team said in a statement.
Delaying the release of police bodycam footage of Andrew Brown Jr.'s death sounds like an excuse
Delaying the release of police bodycam footage of Andrew Brown Jr.’s death sounds like an excuse
Family members also responded with skepticism at the district attorney’s account of the shooting.
“This is the first time I’ve heard about it,” Brown’s cousin Elisha Villard told CNN’s Jason Carroll. “So, to me, I don’t know if they were telling the truth or not.”
Brown’s aunt Lillie Brown Clark said she’s “not buying it.” Brown is no longer able to tell the nation what happened, Clark said, making the release of the footage so much more important.
“That’s how he will speak to us. And that will be his side of the story,” she said.
In addition to Wooten, the governor of North Carolina also called for the footage to be released.
“I have continued to support a change in the law that would presume that this kind of videos are public record and a court would have to come in and find reason not to have them released to the public. Right now, the law is the opposite,” Gov. Roy Cooper said. “I do know that changes need to be made to ensure fairness in the justice system and to stand up against racial injustice in North Carolina.”
Demonstrators protesting the shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. remain in streets after curfew
Demonstrators protesting the shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. remain in streets after curfew
Protesters calling for the release of the video have gathered for eight nights in the city.
Demonstrations have remained peaceful since Brown’s death, but the city declared a state of emergency Monday and has imposed an 8 p.m. curfew that will continue until rescinded, according to the county.
Seven people were arrested Tuesday night, the first night of the curfew, the Elizabeth City Police Department said.
On Thursday morning, Police Chief Eddie M. Buffaloe said nine people were arrested overnight in Elizabeth City. Seven of the arrests were for violating curfew and two were for impeding traffic.

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Attorneys representing the family of Andrew Brown Jr. said Monday that North Carolina sheriff’s deputies shot the 42-year-old Black man in the back of the head as they were serving a warrant last week. Brown’s son, who was allowed to view what the family’s attorneys said was 20 seconds of police body camera video, called the shooting in Elizabeth City an execution.

“My dad got executed just by trying to save his own life,” Khalil Ferebee told reporters during an afternoon press conference.

Family attorney Harry Daniels said Brown was shot in the back of the head, and he called for the officers involved in the shooting to be arrested “right now.”

Another family attorney, Chantel Cherry-Lassiter, said the bodycam video showed Brown posed no threat to police during Wednesday’s incident. She said the video showed Brown in his car in his driveway with his hands on the steering wheel.

The video started with officers firing at Brown, Cherry-Lassiter said. At least five officers were facing the driver’s side of the vehicle pointing their weapons at Brown, she said. Some were calling for Brown to show them his hands.

“They’re shooting and saying, ‘Let me see your hands,’ at the same time,” Cherry-Lassiter said.

Brown tried to drive away from the officers, who continued to fire, she said. The vehicle eventually crashed into a tree.

“We in Black America don’t understand why when a Black person is going away from you you think it’s allowable to shoot them in the back and kill them,” said attorney Ben Crump, who is also representing the Brown family.

Cherry-Lassiter said at least seven officers total were at the scene of the shooting. Attorneys called for the release of footage from other body cameras and from any police dashboard cameras. Authorities have not publicly released any video from the incident, despite calls to do so from the community and local officials.

In a video statement posted to Facebook on Monday, Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Daniel Fogg said the office would comply if the court ordered a release of the body camera footage, but said “those people who claim that the sheriff’s office has the ability to release [the footage] either don’t know North Carolina law, or they are trying to purposefully inflame a tragic situation.”

In the same statement, Sheriff Tommy Wooten II said the incident “was quick and over in less than 30 seconds,” adding that “body cameras are shaky and sometimes hard to decipher.”

“They only tell part of the story,” Wooten added.

Seven Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave. Ahead of the family viewing the video, Elizabeth City Mayor Bettie Parker declared a state of emergency in the wake of protests following the shooting.

Wooten has said deputies from his department were attempting to serve drug-related search and arrest warrants when Brown was shot. The warrants included two arrest warrants on drug-related charges, including possession with intent to sell cocaine for Brown, who had past drug convictions.

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