Protesters have called for the release of police bodycam footage, which authorities say they are prevented from making public without a court order. Brown’s family was shown footage Monday though the clip was only 20 seconds long, said family attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter who was also shown the video.
“Just because you wear a badge, shield or star doesn’t give you the right to kill,” said Brown family attorney Harry Daniels. “And if you kill doesn’t give you the right to be free while a clear killing is on video.”
More answers may be coming Tuesday, when attorneys for the Brown family will hold a press conference to reveal the results of an independent autopsy.
What the body camera footage revealed
Attorney Cherry-Lassiter said the footage she saw of the incident showed an “execution.”
Brown was seen in his driveway, blocked in by the sheriff’s department, sitting with his hands on the steering wheel.
“He wasn’t reaching for anything, he wasn’t touching anything, he wasn’t throwing anything around,” she said.
Deputies ran up to his car, shooting as Brown put the vehicle in reverse and backed out of the driveway, she said. Deputies continued to shoot at him as he drove off, Cherry-Lassiter said. The vehicle, riddled with bullet holes, crashed into a tree, she said.
CNN has not seen the video and has not been able to independently verify the family attorneys’ account of the video.
“They are trying to hide something,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump said. “They don’t want us to see everything.”
Chief Deputy Daniel Fogg said it would be inappropriate to comment on the case until all the evidence is collected.
What authorities have released
In dispatch audio from that day, first responders can be heard saying a man had gunshot wounds to the back. A copy of his death certificate says he died as a result of a gunshot wound of the head.
Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies were authorized to look for crack cocaine, other controlled substances and “evidence of criminal activity” in Brown’s two vehicles and his residence, according to a search warrant signed by a judge on April 20.
The copy of the search warrant obtained by CNN was marked as “not executed.” In the first news conference about Brown’s death, Wooten said Brown was killed as deputies were attempting to execute the search warrant. In a later news conference, Wooten stated Brown was killed as deputies served an arrest warrant.
CNN has not been able to obtain the arrest warrant.
According to the search warrant, PCSO Investigator D. Ryan Meads received information from the Dare County Narcotics Task Force in March of 2021 “regarding the illegal sales of controlled narcotics by Andrew Brown residing on Perry St. in Elizabeth City.”
The task force had been in touch with an informant who claimed to have been buying drugs from Brown for over a year, including at his home or at motels/hotels, according to the warrant.
However, Brown’s aunt Betty Banks said the family was told that authorities did not find any drugs or weapons in Brown’s car or in his house.
Video was released publicly Monday by a bystander — a brief snippet showing police around the car.
What happens next
Seven deputies have been placed on administrative leave following the shooting, two others have resigned and one deputy retired, Wooten has said. Not all the deputies who were placed on administrative leave discharged their firearms, he added, but they were all part of the warrant operation.
According to North Carolina law, law enforcement body camera footage can only be released to the public with a court order.
Fogg said in the video statement that the county attorney on Monday filed a motion in court to have the footage released. A media coalition that includes CNN also filed a petition in a North Carolina state court Monday pushing for the release of the video.
CNN has also reached out to the county attorney for comment on the release of the footage.
Elizabeth City declared a state of emergency Monday morning amid concerns that the video’s release could lead to civil unrest. According to the city’s emergency proclamation, city officials will also file a formal request with the sheriff’s office for the public release of the video.
“It seems likely that the video and audio footage will be released in the very near future. In order to ensure the safety of our citizens and their property, City officials realize there may be a potential period of unrest within the City following the public release of the footage,” the proclamation says.
Marchers in Elizabeth City demonstrated Monday night outside Pasquotank County Attorney Michael Cox’s home, organizer Kirk Rivers and other protestors told CNN.
Protesters stayed for about 15 minutes, chanting “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” as well as “Black Lives Matter” and “Andrew Brown.” The march then headed toward the sheriff’s office.
CNN’s Natasha Chen reported from Elizabeth City and CNN’s Madeline Holcombe and Gregory Lemos reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN’s Eric Levenson, Kevin Conlon, Devon M. Sayers, Brian Todd, Jamiel Lynch, Steve Almasy, Christina Maxouris and Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.Source link