The North Carolina sheriff’s deputies involved in the death of Andrew Brown Jr. will walk free from criminal charges, according to an ABC News report. District Attorney Andrew Womble announced the news on Tuesday (May 18) following the completion of a probe conducted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
Back in April, Brown was pulled over as deputies tried to serve him with an arrest warrant. He was fatally shot as he attempted to break away. According to the late man’s family, who was permitted to view portions of body cam footage, Brown was in his vehicle, posing absolutely no threat to law enforcement.
Authorities and District Attorney Andrew Womble, however, claim that he drove in the officers’ direction, hitting them twice before they proceeded to shoot him. Per the results of an independent autopsy, Brown passed away as a result of a kill shot to the back of his head.
According to Womble, the deputies’ excessive use of force was “justified.” “Mr. Brown’s actions caused three deputies to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others,” he said.
Seven deputies were initially placed on administrative leave, but after it was determined four of those officers hadn’t fired their guns during the shooting, they were reinstated, leaving the other three cops behind.
No further details about the probe were disclosed.
The decision not to file any charges against the cops comes days after Brown Jr.’s family pleaded with Womble to recuse himself from the case, citing his relationship with members of the Elizabeth City police department.
“Womble’s involvement would be a miscarriage of justice for Andrew Brown Jr., his family and the people of Elizabeth City,” said Bakari Sellers, one of the attorneys representing Brown’s relatives.
Brown’s family is still demanding the public release of body cam footage.