State Watch

Andrew Brown Jr. attorneys say he died from a bullet to the back of the head

Attorneys for the family of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man who was shot and killed by deputies in Elizabeth City, N.C., last week, said Tuesday that Brown was killed by a gunshot wound to the back of the head.

The post-mortem report was released one a day after Brown’s family was shown a short 20-second clip of the fatal incident.

After watching the brief footage, Brown’s son Khalil Ferebee described his father’s killing as an “execution.”

“We commissioned a private individual autopsy report … because we don’t have access to anything that’s official,” family attorney Wayne Kendall said. “What our preliminary autopsy report shows is that there were five penetrating bullet wounds to the body of Andrew Brown Jr.”

Kendall said that the first four penetrating shots hit Brown, 42, in the right arm. The fatal shot to the back of the head came later, suggesting Brown was attempting to drive away from deputies.

The report is consistent with eyewitness accounts that claim Brown attempted to get in his car and leave the scene, at which point he was shot multiple times.

“The law enforcement in this country cannot be judge, jury and executioner,” attorney Harry Daniels added. “Andrew did not get his due process.”

The lack of transparency around the case has gained national attention since Brown’s death. 

The full body camera footage from the incident has yet to be released publicly, as North Carolina law requires a judge to sign off on the video being published.

Family members are permitted to view the video unedited, yet the version that Brown’s family viewed Monday was only a snippet, and failed to shed light on the events that led to deputies killing Brown.

The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office has requested that the footage be released by a court. 

National civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is also representing Brown’s family, said that the legal team has yet to receive an official autopsy report from officials.

Brown was killed last Wednesday, just a day after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd last May.

Floyd’s death became the catalyst for nationwide Black Lives Matter protests last summer, creating a social movement in the country demanding police reform and the rooting out of systemic racism. 

And calls for racial justice have only increased in recent months as killings of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement have continued. 

Deputies from the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office who approached Brown last Wednesday were attempting to deliver a search warrant and a pair of arrest warrants. Witnesses to Brown’s death said that law enforcement fired shots at Brown while he was in his car attempting to leave the scene. 

The Associated Press on Monday reported the warrants stemmed from Brown selling small amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine to a police informant on multiple occasions back in March.

All seven of the deputies who were involved have been put on administrative leave while the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation begins a probe into Brown’s death.

On Monday, Elizabeth City officials declared an official state of emergency ahead of anticipated protests and unrest over the unreleased footage.

Tags Andrew Brown Jr. Ben Crump police shooting racial justice

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