Attorneys For Family Of Police Shooting Victim Say They Only Saw ‘Snippet’ Of Body Cam

April 26, 2021

The family of a Black man shot and killed by police last week saw just a “snippet” of one sheriff’s deputy’s body camera footage of the shooting Monday, attorneys for the family said.

Andrew Brown, Jr.’s family reviewed what was described as a 20-second clip of the deputy’s body camera after a several-hour delay, which County Attorney Michael Cox said was the result of an effort to redact individuals’ faces in the clip. Attorneys for Brown’s family said Cox made the decision to only show the 20-second clip, and also that the private viewing at the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office had been combative.

One family attorney, Bakari Sellers, recalled in a press conference afterward that Cox said that “he was not fucking going to be bullied” during the meeting.

The footage showed that Brown had been “executed,” Brown’s son asserted after viewing the footage.

Another family attorney, Chantel Lassiter, said the clip showed deputies firing at Brown while his hands were on the steering wheel of his vehicle.

The attorneys called for more video footage — including from several other sheriff’s deputies’ body cameras — to be released. Several news organizations have also sued for the footage to be released publicly.

Elizabeth City, North Carolina, where Brown was shot, declared a state of emergency ahead of Brown’s family viewing the footage on Monday. But it remains unclear when the video will be released publicly.

Brown’s family initially expected to see the footage first at around 11:30 a.m. ET, followed by a public release of the footage. But by around noon, an attorney for the family, Harry Daniels, said he’d heard from a county official that “redactions” could delay the release of the footage.

Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed Brown while attempting to search his home and arrest him on felony drug charges. Several unnamed deputies involved in the incident have since been placed on administrative leave.

Witnesses told reporters that Brown got in his car and started driving away from law enforcement, at which point deputies began shooting.

“They shot my grandson like he was a bear,” Brown’s grandmother, Lydia Brown, told The News & Observer.

The shooting took place within a day of a jury convicting Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer, in the murder of George Floyd.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is handling the probe of Brown’s death.

“If evidence shows that any of my deputies violated the law or policies, they will be held accountable,” Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy S. Wooten said in a recorded video statement Thursday.

“The issue will likely come down to whether our deputies had reason to believe Mr. Brown’s action put them at risk for a serious injury or death,” Chief Deputy Daniel Fogg said in the same video statement.

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