UPDATED: 4:30 p.m. ET
The family of a Black man killed in North Carolina was finally allowed to see video footage of the police killing him nearly a week after the fatal encounter in Elizabeth City last week. However, Andrew Brown Jr.‘s family was only permitted to see a 20-second edited and redacted video, according to reports.
CNN described it as a “snippet” that obscured the identities of the officers involved.
However, Bakari Sellers, who is representing Brown’s family, said those viewing the video were shown “disrespect.” He said Pasquotank County Attorney R. Michael Cox said he was “not fucking going to be bullied” into showing the entire video.
Another attorney for Brown’s family told the Associated Press that the 20-second video showed the police were the ones who went on the offensive without justifiable provocation.
“He was not threatening them in any kind of fashion,” Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said of Brown. She also said Brown was shot in the back of the head.
She said there were up to eight officers involved, with all of them giving conflicting orders to Brown.
“They’re shooting and saying let me see your hands at the same time,” Cherry-Lassiter told the AP.
She also told NBC News that Brown was not resisting nor was he posing any threat at the time he was shot.
“Andrew had his hands on his steering wheel. He was not reaching for anything, he wasn’t touching anything,” Cherry-Lassiter said. “He had his hands firmly on the steering wheel. They run up to his vehicle shooting. He still stood there, sat there in his vehicle with his hands on the steering wheel while being shot at.”
Brown’s son said after viewing the footage that his father was “executed,” according to NBC News.
“It ain’t right, it ain’t right at all,” Khalil Ferebee said.
It is unclear how long the original and raw video footage is.
Lawyers representing the family of a Black man who was shot and killed by police in North Carolina said law enforcement is actively trying to conceal video footage from the shooting last week.
The family of Andrew Brown Jr. and their lawyers said they were scheduled to view the raw video of the shooting in Elizabeth City on Monday morning but received an email from police about an hour before the meeting to announce the footage was still in the process of being edited.
That last-minute claim along with the delayed release of the shooting that took place on Wednesday has prompted people like civil rights attorney Ben Crump to wonder if a cover-up is the why the video won’t be released.
“Is that the reason they’re trying to hide the video? To avoid accountability?” Crump asked a crowd assembled in front of the Pasquotank County Public Safety office.
Crump law offices e-mailed a press release reporting the allegations that Brown was shot in the back as he drove away from police officers who were trying to serve a warrant. Multiple references were made during the press conference to speculation that Brown was shot in the back.
Brown, a 42-year-old father of 10, was shot as he exited the home to his vehicle unarmed, where he attempted to drive away as police fired shots at his vehicle, his family has maintained. Brown’s family said he left peacefully during the warrant serving.
The only real information the public has been given about the shooting aside from Brown’s name is the fact that seven Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies have been put on leave, two resigned and one retired after the shooting.
Police can’t “sweep this under the rug,” Crump said, emphasizing how taxpayers who voted for local police officers to wear bodycams should be resentful that the footage won’t be released “when it’s most critically needed.”
Crump added: “They don’t shoot white men in the back.”
Harry Daniels, another attorney representing Brown’s family, was the one who announced, said Pasquotank County Attorney R. Michael Cox’s office told him Monday morning that the video was still “having some redactions performed” even though it had already been established in advance that the family would view the video in its entirety.
The County Attorney’s office was “walking back promises they made,” Daniels said during the press conference.
Daniels later announced that the family was told they would be able to see video of Brown’s shooting around 1:30 p.m. local time Monday. He said Brown’s family would make a public statement after viewing the video.
Crump said if the video showed Brown doing something wrong, police would have no problem showing the footage.
The press conference ended with Brown’s family and their lawyers walking inside the Pasquotank County Public Safety office.
In Pasquotank County, body camera footage cannot be released without a court order.
“We must follow the law and the law prohibits us from publicly releasing the body worn camera footage,” District Attorney Andrew Womble and Pasquotank County Attorney R. Michael Cox told CNN last week. “The law does allow a private viewing by the family of Mr. Brown we are working with their attorney to arrange that.”
Family members have also said Brown was unarmed.
“That’s my favorite nephew. He never carried a gun,” Brown’s uncle Pete Brown told CNN. “He didn’t own a gun.”
This will be updated as additional information becomes available.
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