Andrew Brown family attorney says family will be able to view bodycam footage Monday as community leaders call for public release
Posted April 24, 2021 3:13 p.m. EDT
Updated April 26, 2021 1:14 p.m. EDT
Elizabeth City, N.C. — More calls for change took place in Elizabeth City this weekend as protests continued after the shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr.
New developments Sunday
Protests continued in Elizabeth City Sunday, marking the fifth straight day of people looking for answers.
But as community leaders ask for the release of the body camera footage, Brown family attorney Wayne Kendall says the family will be able to view the footage on Monday.
"Family members are allowed to see bodycam recording if the image of a deceased person that is related to that person is on the recording," Kendall explained. "And their attorneys are allowed to see it. That's codified within the statute, so there's no issue there."
Community leaders want transparency
N.C. NAACP leaders, Attorney General Josh Stein and the Pasquotank Co. Sheriff's Office joined Gov. Roy Cooper in calling for body camera video from the incident to be released.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, longtime president of the N.C. NAACP, spoke at a news conference with the family of Brown and demanded the footage be released.
"It doesn’t matter if [an] officer is white or Black or brown or men or women; if they engage in brutality, engage in abuse of their power, [they] must be held accountable," Barber said. "We must see the tapes."
In a video posted to their Facebook page Saturday, the Pasquotank Co. Sheriff's Office also requested for the footage to be released. Officers said that only a judge holds the power to do so.
In the video, Sheriff Tommy Wooten says the county plans on filing a motion in court Monday to get the footage released. Wooten told WRAL News Friday that the Sheriff's Office has "nothing to hide."
Brown was shot and killed by a deputy in Elizabeth City. As a result, three deputies have resigned from the Pasquotank Co. Sheriff's Office and seven are on leave.
His death has sparked protests throughout the state as people demand the release of camera footage. Radio traffic indicates Brown Jr. was shot in the back after Pasquotank Co. Sheriff’s Deputies were serving warrants for drug charges at his home Wednesday morning.
"A warrant is not a license to kill," Barber declared. "Warrant does not mean a person is guilty. [It's] not permission to shoot someone with an assault rifle; shoot someone in the back."
Stein released a statement Saturday, stating that the bodycam footage should be released without delay.
“My office has reached out to District Attorney Andrew Womble to offer our assistance," the statement read. "The N.C. Department of Justice stands ready to assist should D.A. Womble request our help. I believe the bodycam video should be made available to the family and released publicly without undue delay. Transparency is critically important in situations like this."
Barber added that that he believes the truth will emerge, even if it's not immediately.
"God already knows the truth and they already know the truth," Barber said. "The truth will come out."
Brown's family speaks out
Brown's son, Khalil Ferebee, said that he can't believe something like this could happen to his own family.
"With all these killings going on, I never expected this to happen so close to home," Ferebee said. "My brother and sisters, we is what drove him as a person. And now I got to live everyday with my newborn ... ever getting a chance to meet him."
Brown's aunt, Glenda Thomas, says her nephew was a good father and didn't deserve to be shot.
"We are all going to miss Andrew, he did not deserve what was done to him," Thomas said. “And we will get justice, if its just for the children, or the family and this community."
Elizabeth City Mayor Bettie Parker wants to see a change in law making footage such as this easier to access.
"This doesn't make sense," she said. "We have to wait forever to get body cam, 24 hours, 48 hours is enough. Let's just change this."
Protests continue Saturday night
Dozens of demonstrators braved the rain for nearly two hours Saturday night, marching more than four miles through downtown Elizabeth City, demanding the release of the bodycam footage. It was the fourth consecutive day of protests.
WRAL's Aaron Thomas spent Saturday in Elizabeth City and reported that the protests remained peaceful, despite the emotional subject matter.
Keith Rivers with the local NAACP was among those calling for for calm demonstrations.
"We're showing the entire world and all of America how you protest and get what you want," Rivers said. "This is how we get justice and this is what justice looks like."