State Watch

NC sheriff to ask court to release bodycam footage of Andrew Brown shooting

A North Carolina sheriff will ask a court to release body camera footage of the police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City.

Pasquotank County Sheriff Thomas S. Wooten said in a video statement posted to Facebook on Saturday that the county hoped to ask a court to release the footage Monday.

Wooten said he wanted to ensure that releasing the footage would not compromise an ongoing investigation from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation into the shooting. 

“People have falsely claimed that my office has the power to do so, that is not true, only a judge can release the video,” Wooten said.

“That’s why I’ve asked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to confirm for me that the releasing of the video will not undermine their investigation,” he continued. “Once I get that confirmation, our county will file a motion in court, hopefully Monday, to have the footage released.”

The announcement comes after activists and politicians pressed for the release of the video of Wednesday’s shooting.

Brown was fatally shot as 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.

Seven deputies have since been placed on administrative leave.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) called on body camera footage to be released on Twitter Friday, stating that  “initial reports of the shooting in Elizabeth City and death of Andrew Brown, Jr. this week are tragic and extremely concerning.

“The body camera footage should be made public as quickly as possible and the SBI should investigate thoroughly to ensure accountability,” he tweeted.

According to The Raleigh News and Observer, the Elizabeth City Council voted on Friday to ask the sheriff and district attorney to support a judge releasing the footage.

Brown’s death came a day after a jury in Minneapolis found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter for the death of George Floyd last May.

It also comes after police in Ohio released footage of the fatal shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black girl who was shot after police were called amid an an altercation between several people. 

Floyd and Bryant’s deaths, along with the deaths of other Americans of color have brought the issue of police reform to the forefront of national politics.

Lawmakers and advocates as well as President Biden have called on Congress to pass legislation on police reform following the conviction of Chauvin. 

Tags Andrew Brown andrew brown shooting Elizabeth City Joe Biden North Carolina Roy Cooper
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