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North Carolina District Attorney Rules Murder of Andrew Brown Jr. Justified by Police

todayMay 19, 2021 8

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Pasquotank County District Attorney R. Andrew Womble said the policemen who killed Andrew Brown Jr. last month were justified in using deadly force. He expressed that Brown “recklessly” tried to run over officers while fleeing his arrest.

What We Know:

  • During a news conference on Tuesday morning, Womble discussed elements of the State Bureau of Investigation’s (SBI) findings. He also showed 44 seconds of footage from four body-camera videos. The recordings showed Brown sitting in his “dark-colored BMW” when officers arrived to serve search and arrest warrants based on alleged drug activity. At 8:23 a.m., a detective parked his vehicle in front of Brown’s to block any forward movement. Two deputies then approached the driver’s side as two others went to the passenger side with their guns out. They also gave Brown commands.
  • While this happened, Brown dropped his phone and backed his car away. According to Womble, an officer who had his hand on Brown’s driver’s door handle was pulled over the car’s hood when Brown reversed. After getting extremely close to his house, Brown turned his steering wheel to the left at officers. The policemen yelled at him to stop, and then a shot rang out. More shots followed, and they hit Brown’s passenger window and rear passenger side door while his car kept accelerating across an empty lot toward an investigator’s white van. After this, law enforcement fired five more times, which went through the rear windshield and trunk.

“Mr. Brown’s death, while tragic, was justified… His actions caused the three deputies to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others,” said Womble.

  • The elapsed time from the first and last gunshot was five seconds. Womble noted this time period conflicts with eyewitness statements shared with the public. Brown’s family’s attorneys disputed Womble’s narrative in a statement. Attorney Brian Selkers told CNN the footage didn’t show Brown using his vehicle as a weapon, as he only backed away from officers. The lawyers also want to know how Brown received a gunshot wound to the back of the head if he supposedly drove toward the deputies.
  • Furthermore, Selkers reported the attorneys would file a petition to release the full video and the SBI report. They want to do this to provide more information on the case to the community and family. “To say this shooting was justified, despite the known facts, is both an insult and a slap in the face to Andrew’s family, the Elizabeth City community, and to rational people everywhere,” they said in the statement.
  • The Brown family lawyers also asked Womble to recuse himself from the case, citing “well-defined conflicts” between the prosecutor and sheriff’s office. These conflicts include the fact that Womble works with Sheriff Tommy Wooten and his deputies daily, as Womble’s office physically resides in the Sheriff’s department. Attorney Bakari Sellers signed the letter sent to Womble and highlighted that moving the case to another jurisdiction will aid “in the interest of fairness, transparency, and pursuit of the ends of justice.” Gov. Roy Cooper also suggested Wooten turn the case over to a special prosecutor, also citing Womble’s connection to the sheriff. Womble fired back to these appeals on Tuesday. He accentuated that a special prosecutor did not hold the same obligations to the people of North Carolina’s seven-county First Judicial District.
  • Alongside the Brown family’s demands, the Pasquotank County NAACP wants Wooten to resign and the three officers that shot Brown to be fired. After Brown’s death, Wooten only placed the seven deputies on administrative leave. Since then, Wooten reinstated the four officers who did not fire at Brown. The three who did shoot Brown remain on leave.

Brown’s death, which happened only a day after Derek Chauvin’s conviction, sparked protests in Elizabeth City and worldwide. Protestors want the officers held accountable for their actions in a court of law. They also ask for the full video of his murder to be released. This, as well as the initiatives of stripping Womble, Wooten, and the deputies of their power, will serve justice.

The post North Carolina District Attorney Rules Murder of Andrew Brown Jr. Justified by Police appeared first on Black News Alerts.

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