Andrew Brown’s family can see only part of body camera footage, judge rules

Judge decides some body cam footage did not show the victim and was therefore not relevant to release

Clara Hill@clara_ish
Friday 07 May 2021 21:11
FBI Investigating Andrew Brown Jr.'s Death

The family of a Black man killed by police in North Carolina can see only some of the body camera footage captured in the deadly shooting, a judge ruled on Thursday.

Andrew Brown was killed by police in Elizabeth City on 21 April as law enforcement attempted to serve a warrant at Mr Brown’s home.

Judge Jeffery Foster stated that some of the body cam footage did not show the victim and therefore was not appropriate to be released.

The move to publish the relevant section of the video comes a week after the same judge refused to grant access to any part of the body camera footage, a decision made on the grounds it would disrupt the ongoing investigation.

Judge Foster stated a week ago that there was “compelling public interest in the video,” but its publication “would create a serious threat to the fair impartial and orderly administration of justice.”

He did permit close family members of Mr Brown to view a 20-second clip ahead of Thursday’s ruling.

Andrew Brown’s son Khalil Ferebee said to CNN his father’s death was “an execution” after seeing the footage.

“It’s a video no son should see dealing with his father at all,” he added.

Brown was shot and killed a few days after a Minnesota jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second- and third-degree murder over the death of George Floyd.

Judge Foster’s ruling describes the circumstances leading up to the tragic conclusion. It outlined that the police offers were trying to arrest Brown over drug related charges while he tried to run away.

In response, police officers fired their weapons into Brown’s car. A shot to the head proved fatal for Mr Brown, according to an independent autopsy.

Seven deputies were suspended following the shooting and protesters responded with wave of calls to release the body cam footage.

Tommy Wootten, the Pasquotank County sherriff, petitioned for the footage to be released by the court and the FBI have begun a civil rights investigation into Mr Brown’s death.

At his funeral on 4 May, Brown’s family members and civil rights activists came together in Elizabeth City to call for transparency in his death. Veteran civil rights activist Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy.

“There was a time when we had to deal with the back of the bus,” he said. “The times call for a policing act. When you see 10 policeman, including a police chief, get on a stand and testify against a policeman in Minneapolis, Minnesota, do you know what time it is? Even the police are tired of making excuses and covering up,” he added.

Mr Sharpton was discussing the multiple police officers who testified against Derek Chauvin. The service focused on of the police’s disproportionate killing of Black people. Family members of previous victims of police killing unarmed Black people, such as George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Eric Garner, came to the funeral.