Deputies will no longer help Elizabeth City police with protests

Protestors call for an economic boycott in Pasquotank County on Wednesdays.
Protestors call for an economic boycott in Pasquotank County on Wednesdays.(WITN)
Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 4:48 PM EDT
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ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WITN) - Pasquotank County’s sheriff said he will soon stop helping Elizabeth City police with the nightly protests over the shooting death of Andrew Brown, Jr.

Brown was killed by deputies at his Perry Street home back on April 21st as they tried to serve arrest and search warrants on him.

Deputies involved in the shooting were not charged after the district attorney ruled the shooting was justified.

People have been protesting the shooting and the subsequent decision by the D.A. every night since.

Sheriff Tommy Wooten said on Wednesday that starting Saturday his deputies would no longer assist local police with the protests, and return to normal operations.

Wooten said Elizabeth City continuing to issue protest permits “have allowed and encouraged daily protests by a very small group of our community to hinder the lives of our citizens.”

The sheriff said while the First Amendment allows peaceful assembly, it doesn’t provide the right to block roads “nor does it provide the right to a law enforcement escort.”

Wooten said he has informed the police chief about the decision and says his deputies will continue to help the police department during major events and other situations.

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