Andrew Brown shooting: Three sheriff’s deputies who opened fire have been identified

The family called the shooting an “execution”

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 29 April 2021 21:09 BST
Lawyers say police shot Andrew Brown Jr in the back of the head
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The three deputies who shot and killed Andrew Brown in North Carolina have been identified.

The Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office named Investigator Daniel Meads, Deputy Sheriff II Robert Morgan, and Corp. Aaron Lewellyn as the deputies who fired their weapons while trying to execute a search warrant at Mr Brown's home in Elizabeth City.

Since the shooting, three deputies have left the sheriff's office and seven others were placed on administrative leave.

Four of the deputies, who the sheriff's office claims did not fire their weapons, were reinstated to active duty, though body camera footage of the encounter has not yet been released.

Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten named the deputies on Thursday.

“They will remain on administrative leave pending completion of the internal investigation and/or the criminal investigation being conducted by the State Bureau of Investigation,” Mr Wooten said.

Mr Brown's death sparked nation-wide outrage, and his family - after seeing a 20-second video of the shooting - called it an "execution."

Police captured in footage by Elizabeth City Council cameras on their way to the home of Andrew Brown.
Police captured in footage by Elizabeth City Council cameras on their way to the home of Andrew Brown. (Elizabeth City Council)

Mr Wooten has asked for the body camera footage to be released, but a court ruling on Wednesday will prevent its release for at least 30 days, prompting outrage from the public and Mr Brown's family.

“I promised the citizens of this county I would be transparent and accountable in this matter. I have been,” Mr Wooten said. “I asked the court to make the body camera footage public. I insisted on outside investigations to ensure impartiality. And now I’m releasing the names of the deputies on the scene. I’ll continue to be transparent whenever I can—without interfering in the independent investigations.”

Mr Brown's family's attorney said he had his hands on the steering wheel of his car when deputies shot and killed him.

Andrew Womble, Pasquotank County prosecutor, said Mr Brown's car "made contact with law enforcement" twice before he was shot.

However, an independent autopsy ordered by the family found that one of the shots was a "kill shot to the back of the head" that occurred while Mr Brown's hands were on the steering wheel.

On Tuesday, the FBI announced it was opening a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting to determine if any federal laws were violated during the encounter.

North Carolina's governor, Roy Cooper, has called for a special prosecutor to be assigned to ensure any "decision on pursuing criminal charges is conducted without bias.”

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