ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — The lawyers for the family of Andrew Brown Jr., the man shot and killed by law enforcement last week in Elizabeth City, say he died of a “kill shot” to the back of the head from law enforcement, according to an independent autopsy report.
Brown was struck by four bullets in the arm before the fatal shot to the back of the head, the autopsy found.
The 20-second footage shown to the family and lawyers on Monday, which hasn’t been shared publicly, showed Brown’s hands were on the steering wheel before deputies started firing, lawyers said.
Lawyers say Brown was driving away only after law enforcement started firing, and that he feared for his life.
They say the killing was an execution.
Watch the full briefing below:
Brown’s car was also shot after it struck a nearby tree, lawyers say. “It’s obvious he was trying to get away,” his son said Tuesday. He said violence in response to father’s death is not the answer, but things have to change.
“You don’t have to be a Democrat or Republican to feel like injustice was done […] you just have to have a beating heart, a moral conscience,” Sellers said.
The bodycam footage of the shooting still hasn’t been released to the public and the Brown family’s attorneys say they’ve gotten nothing from the official medical examiner so far. WAVY and other media companies have petitioned the court in surrounding Pasquotank County to release the video of the killing. The hearing on that petition is scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Sellers says the North Carolina law prohibiting the release of the body camera video is bad.
“If Andrew Brown had done something to justify his shooting, […] they would have gotten that approval early.”
Sellers says the law doesn’t require a court order to show the family the entire video. They were only shown that 20-second clip on Monday after a delay due to law enforcement blurring out deputies’ faces. Sheriff Tommy Wooten said the incident was “30 seconds” long, but the family only saw 20 seconds.
“We never got to see the initiation of the encounter.”
Seven deputies were placed on administrative leave after the incident and three who were not directly involved resigned. Attorney Ben Crump said policies need to be changed.
People who watched Tuesday’s press conference screamed “arrest them!” after the reading of the report.
“The law enforcement in this country cannot be the judge, jury and executioner,” an attorney for the family said.
Elizabeth City and surrounding Pasquotank County are both under states of emergency ahead of the release of the bodycam footage, though protests have been peaceful. There is a curfew in the city starting at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
This is a breaking update. Check back for more coverage.
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — Elizabeth City remains under a state of emergency ahead of the release of body camera footage of the law enforcement killing of Andrew Brown Jr.
Last Wednesday, Brown was shot and killed by deputies that were serving an arrest warrant. The community continues to call for transparency nearly a week later.
Some members of Brown’s family were able to watch about 20 seconds of body camera video from one deputy on Monday. They are calling his death an “execution.” His hands were on the steering wheel and deputies ran up to the vehicle, and the family says he was trying to drive away to avoid being shot.
An attorney for the family says they lost count how many shots were fired in the 20 seconds that was shown to the family. They added that shots were already being fired when the video started.
Around 11 a.m. Tuesday, the family’s legal team plans to share the results of an independent autopsy investigation in front of the county sheriff’s office.
The Pasquotank County NAACP and church leaders are also set to meet with attorneys to declare a “moral emergency” in the country.
“What we see happening in Elizabeth City with a man shot in the back and the inept way the investigation is being handled by the District Attorney and Sheriff is a moral failure,” said Bishop Barber II.
“The Black Belt is witnessing a heinous indiscretion,” said Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the North Carolina conference of the NAACP. “The lack of transparency is not only disturbing; it is time for intervention from statewide policy makers including Attorney General Josh Stein and Gov. Roy Cooper to rise up and do what you were elected to do. I reaffirm the NC NAACP’s commitment to holding all lawless enforcement accountable, and I reiterate we will not stand idly by and watch North Carolina become another Minnesota.”
At 3 p.m., church leaders will have a news conference after the private meeting at Mt. Lebanon AME Zion Church.
Later today at 5 p.m., protests are expected to continue. Protests have been peaceful in the days following Brown’s death, including on Monday night after the family shared what they saw on the bodycam footage.