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Andrew Brown Jr police shooting: what does the body camera footage show?

The family of a North Carolina man fatally shot by sheriff's deputies were shown a brief video clip from a single police body camera on Monday.

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Andrew Brown Jr police shooting: what does the body camera footage show?
Sean Rayford AFP

Last week, just a day after the guilty verdict was announced in the Derek Chauvin trial, Andrew Brown Jr was gunned down by Pasquotank County sheriff deputies serving a warrant. On Monday the county attorney showed the victim's family a short redacted clip that one family attorney described as an "execution".

Of the seven or eight officers who were at the scene, presumably each was wearing a body camera, the family was only shown video from just one. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump condemned the lack of transparency saying "They are trying to hide something. They don't want us to see everything."

Police body camera video shows Andrew Brown Jr was not a threat

Pasquotank County Attorney Michael Cox showed Brown's family and attorneys a 20 second clip of the fatal encounter between Brown and deputies on Monday afternoon. Both the family and attorneys said that it was clear he was not a threat before deputies started shooting. Family attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said "Andrew had his hands on his steering wheel. He was not reaching for anything, he wasn't touching anything." She labeled the police actions an “execution”

Cherry-Lassiter said the video showed Brown in his vehicle as it was blocked in by law enforcement vehicles when officers came running up to Brown’s car and began firing. After the first shots Brown put the vehicle in reverse and backed out of the driveway while officers continued shooting before he crashed into a tree. A copy of his death certificate says he died as a result of a gunshot wound of the head according to CNN.

Release of the video delayed

The family was originally set to be shown the footage at noon on Monday but the viewing was delayed several hours until the afternoon. The need to blur the deputies’ faces, which was sought by the county attorney, was part of the delay in showing the family the video. In a statement Cox said that this is allowed under state law and the process takes time. 

This added insult to injury for the family since the police had released the search warrant affidavit detailing allegations against Brown to justify why deputies sought to arrest him. "They released a warrant saying all kinds of things about Andrew Brown but they want to redact the face of police officers that killed Andrew Brown?" said Crump. Authorities said that procedure to apprehend Brown was considered higher risk as he was a convicted felon with a history of resisting arrest.

Officers put on leave others resign

Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten has informed that while an investigation takes place, seven deputies have been placed on administrative leave following last week’s shooting. Three other deputies have resigned in the wake of the shooting but those resignations are unrelated to fatal encounter according to a sheriff's office spokesperson.

Elizabeth City Mayor Bettie Parker hours before the video was shown to Brown’s family and attorneys declared a state of emergency. According to Parker this will clear the way for the city to receive state and federal assistance ahead of a possible "period of civil unrest."