The family of a Black man killed by sheriff’s deputies in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, claims recent body camera footage shows his death was unjustified.
Andrew Brown Jr.’s family and attorneys were able to watch more than 18 minutes of the nearly two hours of police body camera footage captured before and after Brown’s death on Tuesday.
Four deputies’ body cameras and a police car’s dashcam were used to create the video. Brown’s sons say that the video they saw convinced them that their father’s death was unjustifiable.
“My father did not deserve to die at all. He did not deserve to be killed in any way, shape, or form. He did not pose any threat at all,” Gerard Ferebee said.
Brown, 42, was killed on April 21 when Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies arrived at his home to serve a felony drug warrant.
Harry Daniels, who represents the Brown family, said, “You should be outraged that in 2021 that a man could be killed gunned down from a firing squad.”
Prosecutors say deputies opened fire after Brown’s car collided with one of them. That was not what they saw, said Hance Lynch, an attorney for Brown’s family who saw the videos with the family.
“I think the elected did what he wanted to do; he wanted to cause pause and plant a seed,” he said.
His death sparked outrage around the country, with increasing demands for police to release the complete, unedited video. Unlike other states, North Carolina needs a judge’s approval before police videos can be made public. A judge ruled against it, ordering that the video be kept out of the public eye for at least 30 days while police investigate.
Daniels said, “We are calling for an arrest immediately of these officers. You don’t need an investigation when you have a cold-blooded killing. Investigate what.”
The family and their lawyers have called Brown’s shooting an “execution,” and they want the district attorney to recuse himself from the case because of his tight working relationship with the Pasquotank sheriff’s office. On the other hand, the district attorney has refused, stating, “I stand ready, willing, and able to fulfill my statutory obligations.”
Along with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, the Brown family is requesting that a special prosecutor investigate the case.