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Witness says North Carolina cops killed Black man as he drove away, family demands body-cam video

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 4/23/2021 Joseph Wilkinson

Multiple North Carolina police officers fatally shot a 42-year-old Black man Wednesday as he drove away, according to a neighbor who witnessed the shooting.

Members of Andrew Brown Jr.’s family, along with community leaders in Elizabeth City, demanded body-camera video of the incident be released, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

Brown, a father of 10, was killed Wednesday morning outside his home in the 17,000-person city in northeast North Carolina. At least one officer with the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office was placed on administrative leave.

The cops have offered few details about the shooting, but Brown’s neighbor, Demetria Williams, said he was driving away when officers fired into his vehicle, according to the News & Observer. A photo of Brown’s car showed the back windshield was shattered.

a group of people standing on top of a car: People gather outside Andrew Brown Jr.'s home Wednesday afternoon. © Stephen M. Katz People gather outside Andrew Brown Jr.'s home Wednesday afternoon.

People gather outside Andrew Brown Jr.'s home Wednesday afternoon. (Stephen M. Katz/)

“I got down there and they were shooting at the car,” Williams told the paper. “He didn’t get far because the sheriff deputies were in the driveway. He was getting away. He wasn’t a threat.”

Williams said she counted at least 12 bullet casings in the street.

The officers were at Brown’s house to serve a search warrant. Cops later said the case was “surrounding felony drug charges.”

Protesters, city leaders and Brown’s family all called for the release of body-camera video of the shooting.

“A lot of speculation is going on. We’re asking for answers, accountability and transparency,” family attorney Harry Daniels said Thursday, according to USA Today. “To my understanding, Mr. Brown was not armed, and the bullets entered into the back of the vehicle, as though he was leaving the scene.”

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case. The SBI does not have the power to release the footage under North Carolina law, which requires a court order or a decision by local authorities. The bureau asked people to pressure the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office and the local district attorney instead.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in the city, about 40 miles south of Norfolk, Va., on Wednesday and Thursday night to rally against police killings of Black people.

“I’m afraid as a Black man,” City Councilman Gabriel Adkins told his colleagues at an emergency meeting Wednesday night. “I’m afraid that I may be the next one that my family might have to see on the news that I was gunned down.”


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