“We encourage the Pasquotank County District Attorney, Andrew Womble, to request the assistance of the North Carolina Department of Justice and Attorney General Josh Stein in the investigation into the killing of Andrew Brown, Jr. by Pasquotank County deputies” said Gerald Givens Jr., President, Raleigh-Apex NAACP. “We want to ensure that all of the evidence is properly preserved.”
Today, we are grieving with the family of Andrew Brown, Jr. and with every American who has had a loved one unjustly killed by law enforcement.
We stand shoulder to shoulder with our sister branch of the Pasquotank County NAACP and its president, Keith Rivers, who stands in the gap on behalf of their community. We hold the community of Elizabeth City in our hearts, and we are here to assist them in meeting their needs.
Like many members of the public who watched events unfold over the past few days, we have concerns about trusting Pasquotank County to conduct an independent criminal investigation into the actions of the group of Sheriff’s deputies who chose to open fire on Mr. Brown with multiple assault rifles when he was driving away.
Today, we’ve learned from an independent autopsy that Mr. Brown was shot four times on the right arm with a fatal bullet wound to the back of the neck. The death certificate depicts his death as a homicide.
Andrew Brown, Jr.’s family had been promised that they would see the video footage yesterday showing the interaction between Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Deputies and Mr. Brown that ended with his death.
We watched the Brown family press conferences yesterday when the family reported, after several delays, that they had only been shown about 20 seconds of one of the numerous videos of the shooting. The family’s attorneys reported that it was the Pasquotank County Attorney, Michael Cox, who decided to “redact” the video footage of Mr. Brown’s last moments.
The County Attorney is not a criminal prosecutor. The County Attorney represents Pasquotank County in civil litigation filed against the County, including its officials and employees. After the actions of the Pasquotank County Attorney yesterday, we have concerns about the preservation of evidence in Mr. Brown’s case. The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s office has reported that they were serving arrest and search warrants against Mr. Brown, but that does not justify shooting someone in the back as they are driving away. We have not seen any evidence that Mr. Brown was armed.
After viewing the 20-second snippet of video, the family attorneys say that they saw shell casings on the grounds and shots being fired from the beginning of the footage. They report that Mr. Brown’s hands were on the steering wheel of the car, and that he tried to drive away from the officers as they continued firing on him. The deputies were still firing after the car ran into a tree and Mr. Brown was no longer moving. Mr. Brown’s family said that in the 20 second clip, they could not even count how many shots the deputies fired from the assault rifles they carried.
Law enforcement agencies cannot be the judge, jury and executioner in our society.
RALEIGH-APEX BRANCH NAACP
#5436 P.O. Box 25427
Raleigh, NC 27611
PAYABLE TO: Raleigh-Apex NAACP