State Watch

Andrew Brown Jr. family calls for DOJ intervention after DA says police shooting justified

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The family of Andrew Brown Jr. is asking the Department of Justice (DOJ) to intervene after a North Carolina district attorney said the police shooting was justified.

The family attorneys — Ben Crump, Bakari Sellers, Harry M. Daniels and Chantel Cherry-Lassiter — released a joint statement on Tuesday saying Pasquotank District Attorney Andrew Womble’s decision to not charge the officers in the shooting “is both an insult and slap in the face to Andrew’s family.”

“We demanded that the court release the full video and State Bureau of investigation report that will shed some much needed daylight on this case and bring a small measure of justice to this family and this community,” the statement said.

“Because we certainly got neither transparency nor justice today. We request that the Federal Department of Justice intervene immediately.”

The DOJ declined to comment on the statement from the attorneys.

The Justice Department has recently taken action after police shootings in other cities. The DOJ in April announced it would launch an investigation into the Louisville Metro Police Department, after the death of Breonna Taylor, an African American woman who was killed last year by Louisville police during a no-knock raid on her apartment.

That announcement came on the heels of the DOJ saying it would launch an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department.

The request for the DOJ to get involved in Brown’s killing came immediately after Womble on Tuesday said he would not press charges against the officers who shot and killed Brown last month, calling the shooting “justified.”

Womble also shared body camera footage of the incident, where officers surrounded Brown’s vehicle with their guns drawn, shouting at him to step out of the vehicle.

Later frames showed Brown, a Black man, reversing his vehicle and then hitting one officer while moving forward. Officers proceeded to fire toward his vehicle, hitting Brown five times, with a fatal shot to the back of his head.

Womble said he believed Brown was using his vehicle as a deadly weapon, prompting the officers to shoot at him. He added that he spoke with Brown’s family about his decision.

Three officers involved in Brown’s death will be disciplined but remain with the county sheriff’s office, officials said on Tuesday.

Brown’s killing came a day after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd in May 2020. Floyd’s death sparked national protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

–Updated at 12:12 p.m.

Tags Andrew Brown Jr. Andrew Womble Ben Crump Killing of Andrew Brown Jr. North Caroliina Pasquotank

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