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ATTORNEY: What we saw on that video was an unjustified killing

Published: May. 11, 2021 at 2:39 PM EDT|Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 5:56 PM EDT
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ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WITN) - An attorney for the family said they watched “an unjustified killing” of Andrew Brown, Jr. this afternoon.

The Brown family spent three hours behind closed doors watching six different videos of the fatal shooting of the man back on April 21st.

Attorney Chance Lynch said Brown was “ambushed”, and at no point did they see him pose a threat to any law enforcement officer, contradicting what District Attorney Andrew Womble told a judge during a court hearing two weeks ago.

Brown was shot multiple times as Pasquotank County deputies tried to serve a search warrant at his Perry Street home.

A judge ruled two weeks ago that the family and one attorney could view the video, and said he would later rule about whether it would be released.

In a video statement released shortly after the family viewed the video, Sheriff Tommy Wooten says they continue to express condolences to the Brown family while letting their deputies know they love and support them.

The SBI is investigating the shooting of Brown, while the FBI is looking into whether his civil rights were violated or not.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON STORY

The family of Andrew Brown, Jr. is inside the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office viewing the video of him being shot.

Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten shook the hand of civil rights attorney Bakari Sellers, meeting him at the front door of the sheriff’s office around 3:10 p.m.

Twenty people went in the sheriff’s office, including Sellers, Ben Crump, and Harry Daniels.

The civil rights attorneys, along with the Brown family, will hold a news conference after the viewing.

Brown was shot and killed on April 21st as Pasquotank County deputies were serving a search warrant on his Perry Street home in Elizabeth City.

At a hearing on April 27th, Pitt County Judge Jeff Foster okayed the family and one attorney viewing video from four body cameras and one dash camera within 10 days.

That order wasn’t made official until 5:00 p.m. last Thursday.

While there are nearly two hours of video, the judge’s order limits the family and one attorney to just seeing 18 minutes and 41 seconds. “The portions of the videos withheld are found to not contain images of the deceased, and thus are not appropriate for disclosure at this time,” Judge Foster wrote.

However, Daniels hopes it’ll provide clarity for the family.

“You got to keep in mind … family members have seen a portion of this video already so they already know what’s on the video,” Daniels said. “It’s just different angles for a longer period of time as opposed to 20 seconds … we’re just looking for more clarity and transparency on what led up to it.”

There have been calls for the video to be made public. Judge Foster said he would consider releasing a copy to the family after a 30-day delay to allow the SBI to complete its investigation into the shooting.

Last Thursday, Pasquotank County commissioners unanimously voted to call on state lawmakers to change the controversial law, allowing law enforcement agencies to release the video themselves without a court order.

The SBI is investigating the shooting of Brown, while the FBI is looking into whether his civil rights were violated or not.

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