Deputies who shot Andrew Brown Jr. will be ‘disciplined and retrained’: What we know

The deputies who shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr., an unarmed Black man in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, will keep their jobs but be “disciplined and retrained,” Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten said Tuesday. 

The Pasquotank County district attorney on Tuesday announced a state investigation found Brown endangered the deputies by using his vehicle as a deadly weapon while resisting arrest last month. The deputies involved – Investigator Daniel Meads, Deputy Robert Morgan and Cpl. Aaron Lewellyn – were justified in their actions and will not face criminal charges, District Attorney Andrew Womble said.

Morgan is Black and Meads and Lewellyn are white, according to the sheriff. Four others who were at the scene were reinstated after the sheriff said they didn’t fire their weapons.

The decision prompted protests Tuesday night in Elizabeth City, about 170 miles northeast of Raleigh. About 70 people gathered to demand transparency and the release of body camera footage. 

‘Release the tapes’: Protesters demand footage after Sheriff identified deputies involved in fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr.

Brown, 42, was shot April 21 as county deputies attempted to serve him with arrest warrants over “the sale of uncontrolled substances,” Womble said. 

The deputies shot Brown five times, including once in the back of his head, according to an independent autopsy commissioned by his family. Though the official autopsy reports have not been released, Womble said Tuesday an autopsy showed Brown suffered two gunshot wounds, including one to the back the head.

Here’s what we know. 

Brown’s family disputes prosecutor’s narrative

Family lawyers have previously called the shooting “unequivocally unjustified,” saying Brown was not armed and did not drive toward deputies or pose a threat.

They reiterated that sentiment following the news Tuesday, disputing Womble’s narrative and saying Brown’s vehicle was moving away from officers. In a statement, they also demanded the release of the full body camera video and raised questions about the contention that Brown was driving toward the deputies when he was killed.

The family has viewed short clips of body camera footage, but the videos have not been released publicly due to a court order. 

“To say this shooting was justified, despite the known facts, is both an insult and a slap in the face to Andrew’s family, the Elizabeth City community and to rational people everywhere,” attorney’s for Brown’s family said in the statement. “We certainly got neither transparency nor justice today.’

Judge rules: Bodycam video will not be released for now in Andrew Brown Jr. fatal shooting

Why have we not seen body camera video?

Despite a lawsuit and outraged pleas from community members, Womble declined to directly release copies of the body camera videos. But Tuesday, he played clips during the news conference for the first time publicly. 

A ruling last month by a North Carolina superior court judge prevented the public release of the video and limited the family to seeing 20 minutes of more than two hours of available video. It also allowed the faces of the deputies to be redacted.

The judge previously said footage may be released to the public after the completion of the state investigation to prevent any potential threats to the safety of those in the video and to ensure a fair and impartial trial if the deputies were to face charges.

It is unclear if the footage will now be released.  

‘Unequivocally unjustified’:Family of Andrew Brown Jr. views bodycam video of fatal shooting by North Carolina deputies

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