‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Emotional tributes to Black man killed by police in North Carolina a day after Chauvin verdict

Andrew Brown shot as deputies carried out search warrant in Elizabeth City

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Thursday 22 April 2021 07:24
<p>People gather outside the municipal building after Andrew Brown was killed</p>

People gather outside the municipal building after Andrew Brown was killed

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Emotional tributes were paid to a Black man shot and killed by police in North Carolina the day after the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

Officials say Andrew Brown, 40, was shot by sheriff’s deputies carrying out  a search warrant in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

Authorities have given very few details of the shooting by the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s deputy, which is now being investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation.

More than 200 people in the city, which has a 50 per cent Black population, protested the death on Wednesday evening outside an emergency meeting of the city council.

“There are a lot of people hurting in our city. We have a lot of hurt people,” said councilman Gabriel Adkins at the meeting.

“I’m afraid. You know, I mean let’s be real. We talk about transparency, I’m gonna be transparent.

“I’m afraid as a Black man walking around this city, driving my car down the road, trying to make sure that I’m driving the speed limit, trying to make sure that I wear my seat belt, trying to make sure that I do everything right.”

The angry crowd chanted “Say his name. Andrew Brown” and “Hands up. Don’t shoot” as they marched through the city.

“I’ve been knowing him 30 years, and he wasn’t a violent person,” said Brown’s friend, Daniel Bowser. 

“He didn’t mess with guns, he didn’t tote no guns. I don’t care what they put out there, he didn’t deserve to die.”

Martha McCullen, an aunt of Brown who said she raised him after his parents died, said: "The police didn't have to shoot my baby." Ms McCullen stood on the stoop of Brown's rental home, her eyes moist with emotion.

"Andrew Brown was a good person," she said. "He was about to get his kids back. He was a good father. Now his kids won't never see him again."

Brown's grandmother, Lydia Brown, and his aunt Clarissa Brown Gibson told The Associated Press that they learned about his death through a TV news report. Both said they want the shooting thoroughly investigated.

"I am very upset. Andrew was a good person," Lydia Brown said. The deputy "didn't have to shoot him like that."

Clarissa Brown Gibson said: "We want to know if he was served with a warrant, why the shooting over a warrant?"

Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten said the deputies had worn body cameras during the incident.

“We will be transparent, and we will take the proper action based on the findings of the SBI investigation,” he said.

The shooting came less than 24 hours after Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd by a jury in Minneapolis.

Additional reporting by agencies