Demonstrators protesting against the fatal police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. in North Carolina are calling for the release of body camera footage from Wednesday's incident.
Organizer Kirk Rivers told CNN on Thursday that protesters want to see the bodycam video to get a better sense of what happened. But, according to a statement obtained by the outlet from the Pasquotank county attorney, the footage cannot be released without a court order.
"Come out and talk to us. We just want people to come out and talk to us," Rivers said during Thursday's protests, addressing the Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office. "Are you just going to continue to let us assume what took place?"
Pasquotank Sheriff Thomas S. Wooten said during a video statement Wednesday that Brown was fatally shot during an altercation when deputies attempted to serve an arrest warrant for felony drug charges.
A car pulled away from the scene and the deputies fired shots at the car, according to Wooten.
"Our deputies attempted to serve the arrest warrant. They fired the shots. They've been put on administrative leave until we know all the facts," Wooten said at the time.
The sheriff added that an outside agency was called immediately following the incident to investigate.
The Hill has reached out to the Pasquotank Sheriff's Office for comment.
In the meantime, there do not appear to be any immediate plans to release video footage of the shooting.
"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 said, according to CNN.
The protests in North Carolina come just days after authorities in Columbus, Ohio, released body camera footage of the fatal police shooting of Ma'Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black girl. The video showed a police officer pulling up to an altercation between Bryant and several others. The officer fired four shots into Bryant's back after she lunged at another girl. The officer, identified as Nicholas Reardon, said that Bryant had a knife.
Brown's death in Elizabeth City, N.C., came one day after Derek Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, among other charges, in the May 2020 death of George Floyd. Chauvin's conviction, as well as Bryant's death and those of many others shot by police, has brought the issue to police reform to the forefront of legislative discussions in Washington
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