Andrew Brown was identified by family members and the sheriff as the man who was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy on Wednesday morning in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
Brown’s family and family attorneys have now viewed 20 seconds of the bodycam video. They say that Brown was “executed” by officers who fired into his car while he posed no threat, and they say he was killed with a shot to the back of the head. Authorities have released almost no details on the shooting, and the video has not been publicly released. You can read an updated story about the Andrew Brown shooting here.
According to WAVY, a sheriff’s deputy fatally shot the man in Elizabeth City, the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office confirmed. Heavy has reached out to the sheriff’s department for additional information.
Just-released footage of the militarized police force rushing to kill Andrew Brown. This has become a constant sight across America, the evolution of policing that's now terrorizing communities of color! (🎥/@WAVY_News) pic.twitter.com/bLwowoAgso
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) April 27, 2021
A relative, Jadine Hampton, told Heavy in an interview that Brown “had a beautiful smile, infectious laugh.” She said he was “a great story teller like a comedian. A wonderful father, who pushed his kids to be honor roll students even though he never finished school.”
The shooting occurred around 8:30 a.m. on April 21, 2021, WAVY reported. The name of the deputy has not been released. Authorities gave out almost no information about the shooting that took the life of Brown the morning after the Derek Chauvin verdict refocused attention on police-community tensions. In a news conference, they declined to provide any details beyond saying the fatal shooting occurred in a search warrant execution and releasing Brown’s name.
“First George Floyd now Andrew Brown and others this is my hometown where I’m from Elizabeth City North Carolina black lives matter us black people need to stick together the police is killing us,” a man wrote on Facebook, joining a chorus of upset people who took to social media.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Family Says Brown Wasn’t Threatening Officers
— Jason Marks (@jasonmarkswavy) April 21, 2021
Attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter described what she saw on the 20 seconds of bodycam video that was played:
Andrew Brown was in his driveway. The sheriff truck blocked him in his driveway so he couldn’t exit his driveway. Andrew had his hands on his steering wheel. He wasn’t reaching for anything. He wasn’t touching anything… He had his hands firmly on the steering wheel. They ran up to his vehicle shooting. He still… sat in his vehicle with his hands on the steering wheel while being shot at. Now keep in mind this is 20 seconds… we watched it over and over and over to make sure we were clear on what was going on and what was transpiring. He finally decides to try to get away and he backs out, not going towards the officers at all. There was no time in the 20 seconds we saw where he was threatening the officers in any kind of way. He was trying to evade being shot. So he backs out, not forward, but backs out away from the officers who are still shooting at him shouting stop it mother f***** damn mother f*****. Constant obscenities yelled at him while he’s being shot at in the driveway of his home. He finally backs out and then he goes around to get out of danger still avoiding any interactions with officers. They’re still shooting at him while he’s driving off. He runs into a tree and they’re still running behind him. They were still shooting at him after he crashes into a tree. His car is riddled with bullets. There were shell casings before he even backed out. We only saw 20 seconds. There were things that transpired before what we saw.
Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II said, “it’s been a tragic day.” He said it started with a search warrant by deputies. “Andrew Brown Jr. was fatally wounded during this search warrant,” he said. An outside agency is investigating. The deputy who fired was from Pasquotank County and is on administrative leave.
“It is tremendously early in this investigation,” Wooten said, promising that eventually all of the details “will come out.”
Masha Rogers of the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation promised a thorough investigation. She said authorities would not answer any questions about the details of the case because it was “early in this investigation.” Authorities said they had body cam video, but they haven’t released it.
The local district attorney called it a “tragic day.”
According to journalist Jason Marks of WAVY, “We’re told the man was shot in his car.”
WAVY further reported that Brown was shot as he “got into his car and started to drive away, witnesses say.” Neighbors heard “anywhere from 6 to 8 shots,” the television station reported.
The sheriff’s department said the shooting occurred during a search warrant execution in the 400 block of Perry Street, WAVY reported.
— Brendan Ponton (@brendanponton) April 21, 2021
Further details were not released. WSPA-TV reported that, according to Marks, “police have formed a line blocking the area where Brown was killed. His body was placed under a blue tent, and it was still there as of 12:30 p.m., hours after the shooting.”
2. A Relative Remembered Brown as a ‘Wonderful Father’ & a ‘Great Storyteller’
Hampton wrote on Facebook, “My cousin is gone. Body still there and this happened hours ago.” She added, “💔😭. The last time I saw my cousin in October, we talked more than we ever have. Lots of laughs. Now I know why. R.I.P. Jr.”
“He was my first cousin,” she told Heavy in an interview. “He was 10 years younger, and we didn’t grow up together very close but always saw each other at my grandparents’ house on Christmas every year as kids. Most recently in October, we celebrated my grandmother’s birthday and he was there. We exchanged numbers with hopes of him visiting me in Atlanta once the pandemic lifted. He had a beautiful smile, infectious laugh. A great storyteller like a comedian. A wonderful father, who pushed his kids to be honor roll students even though he never finished school. He loved his family and would do anything to help. A huge heart. Never known to be violent or carry a gun that I’m aware. He will be missed and my family is heartbroken over this.”
On the shooting, she said, “I don’t have any details, except he was being served and ran to his car, and police opened fire.”
3. People on Social Media Claimed Brown Was Unarmed but Authorities Have Not Confirmed Nor Denied This Information
— Jason Marks (@jasonmarkswavy) April 21, 2021
On social media, people claimed the man was unarmed. “Police was serving a warrant, shot and killed an unarmed man and he had been laying on the ground for 2 hours,” claimed one person on Facebook.
Authorities have not confirmed nor denied the claim that Brown was unarmed.
According to WSPA, Brown was the father to 10 children. He was 40 years old. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is leading the probe into what happened.
4. Brown Had a Lengthy Criminal History & Was Recorded Selling Drugs, Reports Say
According to Fox News, Brown was described in the search warrant and other records “as a drug dealer in the Pasquotank County area and had a criminal rap sheet over 180 pages long and dating back to May 1988.”
Fox reported that the initial search warrant was “signed off by North Carolina Superior Court Senior Resident Judge Jerry R. Tillett on April 20” and states that Agent R.D. Johnson of the Dare County Narcotics Task Force “was in communication with a confidential source who said they had been purchasing narcotics from Brown for over one year. The informant claimed that they had purchased different quantities of cocaine, ‘crack’ cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine from Brown on numerous occasions.”
A local leader called for immediate release of body cam video – if it exists. Authorities have not said. “If the body cameras were on that information needs to be disseminated as quickly as possible in order to make sure justice is served,” said Keith Rivers, the president of the Pasquotank NAACP, to WSPA.
He added: “The sheriff has not spoken to anyone out here … this is not the Elizabeth City Police Department, this is the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Department. The sheriff needs to address these people. The sheriff needs to talk to community leaders to let us know what is going on so that we can be a part of this process.”
5. The Shooting Came the Day After the Derek Chauvin Verdict
It also came the morning after Columbus police shot and killed a 16-year-old girl. Police released video from a body-worn camera showing that Ma’Khia Bryant had attacked two other females, police say with a knife, when the officer opened fire.