Describing what they describe as a “snippet” of body camera footage, lawyers for the family of a Black man shot by police in North Carolina last week claim that the video shows his “execution” by authorities. Pasquotank County deputies fatally shot 42-year-old Andrew Brown Jr. on Wednesday, the day after Derek Chauvin’s convictions for George Floyd’s murder.
As described by the families lawyers Benjamin Crump and Chantel Cherry-Lassiter at a press conference on Monday, authorities only let them view a 20-second portion of footage showing deputies opening fire at Brown, whom they claim kept his hands on the steering wheel during the interaction.
“He wasn’t reaching for anything,” Cherry-Lassiter told reporters. “He wasn’t touching anything. He wasn’t throwing anything around.”
The footage depicted an “execution,” she added.
According to the family’s lawyers, Brown backed out of the driveway, and authorities continued to fire at him.
“We lost count,” Cherry-Lassiter said. “It was 20 seconds and we lost count of how many shots.”
Brown then crashed his bullet-hole-riddled vehicle into a tree, she added.
“My dad got executed just by trying to save his own life,” one of his sons told a reporter from WAVY, a local television outlet in North Carolina. “The officers were not in no harm of him at all. It’s just messed up how this happened.”
This is Andrew Brown Jr — a 42yo Black father of SEVEN. He was gunned down by police in North Carolina as he was allegedly driving away from them, posing no danger to officers. pic.twitter.com/TtUAqW5hFd
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) April 24, 2021
As previously reported, deputies shot and killed him while attempting to issue an arrest warrant in Elizabeth City, North Carolina on Wednesday. Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten told CNN that seven deputies ended up on administrative leave; two resigned, and one retired. Wooten added that not all of the ones on leave opened fire, but they were part of the operation.
The day after the incident, Wooten justified withholding the footage by responding that only a judge could authorize its release, and he had asked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to confirm that doing so would not undermine their work. If he gets that confirmation, the office would file for the judge to release the footage, Wooten said.
But some five days passed before authorities showed even Brown’s family the video, saying they were blurring faces on the footage.
we began working immediately to make that happen as soon as possible. The law also allows us to blur some faces on the video and that process takes time. […] (contd)
— Lex Gray (@LexGrayWAVY) April 26, 2021
Authorities had been trying to serve Brown a drug-related arrest warrant. His aunt Betty Banks said they were told investigators found no drugs or weapons in his vehicle or home.
[Image via Sean Rayford/Getty Images]
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