A Black councilman in Elizabeth City, North Carolina says a sheriff's deputy urinated on his property after he spoke out about police’s fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. Councilman Gabriel Adkins now says he’s worried the police are targeting him.
According to The News & Observer, which broke the story on Monday (May 17), sheriff’s deputies appeared at a funeral home that Adkins owns twice last week. Adkins says his surveillance footage, which he posted on Facebook, shows a deputy in uniform urinating near a building on the property.
“I’m completely furious that any member of the sheriff department would think these acts are acceptable,” he told The Washington Post in an email. “This is a funeral home. A place where we house family’s loved ones. I have lost all trust and respect for our sheriff department.”
Since police fatally shot Brown last month, Adkins has attended and organized protests and joined the public in calling for authorities to release bodycam footage from the incident.
“Since this case with Andrew Brown, I’ve been out protesting,” he told The News & Observer. “I really feel like they are retaliating back against me. Maybe they didn’t know I had surveillance, but it’s a funeral home.”
Adkins, who is serving his second term on the city council, also owns a catering business and a financial services company. He told The News & Observer that the sheriff’s department has provided escort services for his funeral home in the past, but they've recently stopped responding to his requests. He is planning on taking legal action against the deputies.
“I’m just getting real worried I might be the next target, or they’re trying to set me up,” he said. “On top of it being a crime.”
Earlier on Tuesday (May 18), Elizabeth City District Attorney Andrew Womble announced that the officers responsible for Brown’s death will not face any charges. Womble claimed the fatal shooting was “justified” since Brown allegedly hit deputies with his car before they opened fire. Brown’s family, however, has said that he was driving in the opposite direction and never made contact with deputies. Police have limited the body camera footage shown to Brown’s family and have not released any portions of it publicly.
See Adkins’ surveillance footage below.