The three North Carolina deputies involved in the fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. will be returning to duty. As CNN reported, the officers will be reinstated, retrained and disciplined following their excessive use of force amid their encounter with the late man.
Brown was approached by the deputies who set out to search his vehicle for drugs using a search warrant. He was asked to stop his vehicle but reversed his car instead of complying with cops’ orders. Officers claim he drove the car in their direction, hitting them twice before one of the sergeants rang fire. More shots were fired as his car continued to accelerate forward.
Brown eventually came to a stop, and the paramedics were called. An autopsy revealed he was hit in the shoulder; the bullet to his head resulted in his death.
During a press conference on Tuesday (May 18), Pasquotank Sheriff Tommy Wooten announced that disciplinary action would be taken against the deputies. He also said they were “justified” in their shooting, would not be criminally charged and would be allowed to return to work.
“When you employ a car in a manner that puts officers’ lives in danger, that is a threat,” District Attorney Andrew Womble added after playing a clip of the video. “And I don’t care what direction you’re going — forward, backwards, sideways. I don’t care if you’re stationary, and neither do our courts and our case law.”
According to Chantel Cherry-Lassiter, the attorney representing Brown’s family, the late man’s relatives are “outraged and very disappointed by this decision.” She added that she is unaware of what the discipline against the deputies will entail but noted “it needs to be severe discipline.”
“They did not follow their own policies,” she told CNN. “They were not being safe during the entire interaction.”
Cherry-Lassiter is now demanding the full release of all dash and body camera videos of Brown’s fatal arrest.
“If we have more of an opportunity to view the video in its entirety instead of a clip on the screen like we saw today, then we can make more of a clarity about what happened. We need more transparency,” she said.
Brown’s family also wants access to the investigation report into the shooting.