More news continues to develop on the police shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr. An as-yet-to-be identified relative of the 42-year-old Black man offered a different account of what happened in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
After a judge ruled that the bodycam and dashboard cam footage would not be released to the public — and the Brown family only seeing 20 seconds of the incident at the time — the new account underscores the differences that have already emerged between the family and the Pasquotank District Attorney.
The relative told CNN that Brown started backing up his car when deputies were trying to execute a warrant on April 21, and “they started shooting the front windshield of his car.” “He took off to go across the yard and they started shooting the back window of his car.” The relative also shared a photo to show the Pasquotank Sheriff Department’s truck in Brown’s driveway. It appears to show at least one bullet hole in the front windshield.
The Wednesday ruling from Judge Jeff Foster limited review of the bodycam footage to the Brown family and prohibited public viewing for 30 to 45 days. Protesters, the Brown family attorney, and family members are calling for their release, while District Attorney Andrew Womble has openly said law enforcement opened fire after Brown’s car came in contact with them.
“The next movement of the car is forward. It is in the direction of law enforcement and makes contact with [them],” Womble said. “It is then and only then that you hear shots.”
This is contradicted by the relative who said that Brown’s car did not come in contact with any officers and he was not backing up toward the officers and “there were none behind him.” The relative became very emotional while talking about Brown. “It’s extremely heartbreaking to have to watch and go through knowing it’s one person you can’t bring back,” the relative said. Brown’s son Khalil Ferebee said he saw his father driving away from the deputies.
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. On the opposite end of things, the Pasquotank County sheriff said that the four officers who were at the scene of the shooting who had not used their weapons were being reinstated to active duty. “It’s obvious that four of the deputies never fired their weapons and deserve to be reinstated to active duty,” Sheriff Tommy Wooten said in a news release. “More investigation is necessary into the three deputies who did fire their weapons and they will remain on administrative leave.”
According to the release, Investigator Daniel Meads, Deputy Sheriff II Robert Morgan and Cpl. Aaron Lewellyn are the deputies on leave, while Lt. Steven Judd, Sgt. Michael Swindell, Sgt. Kenneth Bishop, and Sgt. Joel Lunsford have returned to active duty.