Bodycam video of the fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. by North Carolina sheriff’s deputies last week has prompted local officials to declare a state of emergency Monday, even before its release.
Brown, 42, was shot in the back of the head in Elizabeth City last Wednesday. His hands were on the steering wheel of his car when police opened fire, attorneys for his family said. Brown’s family, which was allowed to view just 20 seconds of the video on Monday, called his death an execution.
“There was no time in the 20 seconds that we saw where he was threatening the officers in any kind of way,” attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter told reporters at a news conference.
City officials enacted a state of emergency at 8 a.m. Monday morning.
“In order to ensure the safety of our citizens and their property, city officials realize there may potentially be a period of civil unrest within the city following the public release of that footage,” said the state of emergency declaration, which was signed by Elizabeth City Mayor Bettie Parker.
It will remain in effect “until deemed no longer necessary to protect our citizens,” the declaration added. Such a declaration makes all state and federal resources available to protect the city.
The fatal shooting has triggered six days of peaceful protests, WAVY-TV Channel 10 reported.
It’s unclear when the video will be released to the public. A court hearing on the release of the tape is set for Wednesday:
Just in: a hearing on release of Elizabeth City shooting body cam video will be held Wednesday at 10am
— Nick Ochsner (@NickOchsnerWBTV) April 26, 2021
“It seems likely that the video and audio footage will be released in the very near future,” the city’s emergency declaration noted.
Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies came to Brown’s home last week to serve drug-related search and arrest warrants. A witness said when Brown tried to drive away, he was fatally shot in his car. The deputies involved have been placed on leave pending a state investigation.
"I want to see all these killings stop," says Khalil Ferebee, Andrew Brown's son. "There's too much going on in this world and we don't need that. They are supposed to protect us but they are doing the harm. It's got to stop somewhere." pic.twitter.com/KyaRa0xHwA
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) April 27, 2021
Brown’s life was taken amid a string of recent killings of Blacks by police:
“Only in this country can you have the trial of Derek Chauvin be interrupted by the death of Daunte Wright be interrupted by the death of Adam Toledo be interrupted by the death of Ma’Khia Bryant & now … Elizabeth City.” — @Bakari_Sellers on police killing of Andrew Brown Jr. pic.twitter.com/Zw7VfLaDUv