On Wednesday (April 28), a Superior Court judge denied a petition by local media to publicly release the body camera footage from Andrew Brown Jr.’s fatal shooting. According to The Virginian-Pilot, Judge Jeffrey Foster said the videos can only be released 30 to 45 days after the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation completes its probe into the deadly deputy-involved shooting.
Judge Foster also ordered that four body camera videos from the shooting be released to Brown’s son and one attorney within the next 10 days. Seven Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies were placed on administrative leave after the shooting, but it’s unclear how many of them were at the scene or recorded body camera footage.
The hearing arrived after Brown’s family was permitted to view only 20 seconds of one deputy’s bodycam video. As reported by REVOLT, deputies in Elizabeth City, North Carolina fatally shot Brown last Wednesday (April 21) while he was driving away from them. An independent autopsy revealed the 42-year-old was shot five times, including one “kill shot” to the back of his head.
During Wednesday’s hearing, District Attorney Andrew Womble claimed Brown’s car “made contact” with deputies before they opened fire, The Virginian-Pilot reports. No deputies were injured in the incident.
An attorney representing the deputies supported the judge’s decision not to release the footage and claimed the deputies are “distraught,” but “believe the shooting was justified.”
After watching the bodycam video provided to them, Brown’s family called the shooting an “execution.” The FBI in Charlotte, North Carolina also announced a federal civil rights investigation into the incident yesterday (April 27).
“The video leaked earlier today shows what we already suspected: Andrew Brown Jr. was brought down by an inflamed modern-day lynch mob,” Brown’s family’s lawyers said in a joint statement. “The footage shows an eerie resemblance to what we saw in Ahmaud Arbery’s modern-day lynching, except these were no vigilantes – these murderers were on the clock as law enforcement.”