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'Let's Be Clear; This Was an Execution': Family Incensed After Viewing 20-Second Snippet of N.C. Police Killing Andrew Brown Jr.


Illustration for article titled 'Let's Be Clear; This Was an Execution': Family Incensed After Viewing 20-Second Snippet of N.C. Police Killing Andrew Brown Jr.
Screenshot: WAVY-10

“An execution” was the first response of one of the few people allowed to see a snippet of the video that showed the police-involved shooting of Andrew Brown Jr.

After numerous delays, officials in Elizabeth City, N.C., finally allowed the family and representatives of Andrew Brown Jr.—who was killed by a Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputy on April 21—to view video footage of his death. Before Brown’s relatives watched the footage of the police shooting, officials declared a state of emergency, apparently in preparation for outrage and protests. The viewing was rescheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m, on Monday, after officials in Elizabeth City and surrounding areas issued emergency declarations, citing a possible “period of civil unrest,” according to the New York Times.

“We want to say from the outset, that we do not feel that we got transparency,” said attorney Ben Crump, during a press conference. “They only showed one bodycam video, even though we know there were several bodycam videos.”

Crump, who is representing the family along with Bakari Sellers and Chantel Cherry-Lassiter, said county and state officials refused to allow the Brown family’s legal team to see the video. Sellers noted that County attorney R. Michael Cox told him that “he was not fucking going to be bullied,” into giving the family their constitutional rights to representation because Crump and Sellers were not members of the North Carolina Bar Association. Cherry-Lassiter and the family, however, were eventually allowed to see a 20-second snippet of the video.

“Let’s be clear; this was an execution,” said Cherry-Lassiter, the only family attorney who was permitted to watch the footage. “Andrew Brown was in his driveway. The sheriff’s truck blocked him in his driveway so he couldn’t exit the driveway. Andrew had his hands on his steering wheel. He was not reaching for anything; he was not touching anything; he was not throwing anything around. He had his hands firmly on the steering wheel.”

Cherry-Lassiter continued:

They run up to his vehicle shooting. He still sat there with his hands on his steering wheel while he was being shot at. He finally decided to try to get away... He backs out away from the officers who are still shooting at him, yelling ‘Stop it motherfucker, you goddamned motherfucker!’...

He finally backs out, still avoiding any interaction... drives around them and they’re still shooting at him with Bushmaster AR .223 and Glock 17 handguns...

There were numerous officers there and they would only show us one 20-second clip. I want to make it clear: They were still shooting at him after his car crashed into a tree.

“Do not let them pass off 20 seconds from eight different cameras, not giving us the dashcam video. And we know there were cameras on the house on other poles,” Sellers pleaded to protesters and media.

Brown 46, was killed when deputies arrived at his home to serve a search warrant. Neighbor Demetria Williams said officers open fired on Brown when he attempted to drive away, sending his car skidding into a tree in the yard. The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Department had promised the family that they could watch the police bodycam footage on Monday morning but reneged, claiming they needed to make redactions after keeping the video under wraps for more than four days, family attorneys Ben Crump and Bakari Sellers told.

“My dad was executed, simply for trying to save his own life,” said Kalil Ferebee, Andrew Brown Jr.’s son.

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