Seven deputies suspended – and three others quit – over fatal shooting of black North Carolina dad of 10 Andrew Brown as pressure grows on cops to release bodycam footage
Seven deputies have been put on leave – and another three have resigned – after a black man was fatally shot in North Carolina, it has been revealed.
Pasquotank Sheriff Tommy Wooten told WAVY-TV that seven deputies have been put on administrative leave following the shooting of Andrew Brown, 42, on Wednesday in Elizabeth City. The outlet reported that another three deputies resigned.
Wooten told WAVY-TV that body camera footage would be released ‘in the next couple days’ after protesters took to the streets for two nights in a row demanding that officers release the footage.
Andrew Brown, 42, was shot and killed by sheriffs in North Carolina on Wednesday morning
Brown, a father of ten, was described by his family as a ‘good guy’
Brown was shot and killed in his car at around 8.30am while police were executing search-and-arrest warrants for drug offenses, officials said.
Authorities would not provide details of the shooting but an eyewitness said that he was shot while trying to drive away, and that deputies fired at him multiple times.
The car skidded out of Brown’s yard and eventually hit a tree, said Demetria Williams, who lives on the same street.
However, the body camera footage cannot be released to the public without a court order under North Carolina law.
The Elizabeth City Council held an emergency meeting at 3.30pm on Friday and voted unanimously to petition the sheriff to release the body camera video, WAVY-TV reported.
City council members said that the Elizabeth city attorney will petition a superior court for an order of release if the sheriff denies the request.
However, the city attorney said during the meeting that he does not believe the city has much of a legal standing to request the body camera footage.
Council member Darius Horton made a motion to make the request anyway to “send a message,’ according to the outlet.
Police described Brown as someone who was well known to police – but his family described the father-of-ten as a ‘good guy’, despite his ‘flaws’ – and are demanding the body camera footage.
On Thursday night Andrew Womble, the district attorney for the First Prosecutorial District, which encompasses Elizabeth City, said they were prevented by law from releasing the footage.
‘We know people want to see the body camera footage,’ said Womble, in a statement jointly signed with R. Michael Cox, the Pasquotank County Attorney.
‘It is reasonable for people to ask to see it, because such footage can help provide key context about what happens in incidents like this.
‘However, under North Carolina law police worn body camera footage is not a public record and cannot be released to the press or public without a court order.
‘We must follow the law and the law prohibits us from publicly releasing the body worn camera footage.’
Womble and Cox said they were allowed to show the footage privately to the family, however, and were making arrangements to do so.