New body camera video in the case of the police shooting of Andrew Brown was just released. There was also a decision by the prosecutor in the case as to whether to pursue any charges against the sheriff’s deputies involved in the shooting.
Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble announced they would not be filing any charges because they believed that the officers’ actions had been justified in the shooting in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
“Mr. Brown’s death, while tragic, was justified, because Mr. Brown’s actions caused three deputies with the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others,” Womble said before explaining and showing the body camera video to the public for the first time.
The deputies were trying to serve a warrant on Brown for drug-related offenses.
The body cam shows 44 seconds of video footage, where deputies jump out of their vehicle when arriving at the property, pulling guns, and then try to move on Brown who is in his car to arrest him. Brown first reverses but then drives toward the deputies, and one deputy has to jump out of the way.
44 SECONDS — *explicit language* Bodycam shows deputies arriving @ Brown’s home until he crashed into tree
Womble: Brown ignored commands & drove towards deputies. Womble says 1st shot entered front windshield, several more hit passenger window & 5 shots entered rear windshield. pic.twitter.com/BjuD76nSyc
— Joe Fisher – WRAL (@JoeFisherTV) May 18, 2021
Womble said that the video supported that Brown’s actions were endangering the officers at the time of the shooting and he noted that one deputy was struck twice by the vehicle. Brown didn’t have a gun, but Womble said he used the car as a deadly weapon.
“Brown’s precise speed in attempting to flee and striking deputy Lundsford is uncertain. But that he drove recklessly and endangered the officers, is not uncertain. Therefore I find that Brown’s actions and conduct were indeed dangerous by the time of the shooting,” Womble said. […]
“I find that the facts of this case clearly illustrate that the officers who used deadly force on Andrew Brown Jr. did so reasonably and only when a violent felon used a deadly weapon to place their lives in danger,” Womble said.
The deputies first fired through the front windshield of the car and some fired from the side, then finally some fired through the back as the car continued to move. Brown was hit twice — once in the right shoulder and then in the back of the head.
Brown’s family believes that the shooting was unjustified and it has attracted protesters to the area. They believe that Brown did not pose any threat and that he drove off because he feared for his life from the deputies. His son, Jha’rod Ferebee, said, “He did not deserve to get killed. In any way shape or form, he did not pose any threat at all. Come court, there’s no way that this could be justified. There’s no way possible.”