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NC City Declares Emergency Before Police Video Released

'What is on the video that is so damning?' asks attorney for Andrew Brown Jr.'s family
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2021 1:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – "What is on the video that is so damning?" attorney Ben Crump wondered after a North Carolina city announced a state of emergency ahead of the expected Monday release of a video of a police shooting. Andrew Brown Jr., a 42-year-old Black man, was shot dead Wednesday after police in Elizabeth City went to his home to serve a search warrant. His death was followed by days of protests. Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten said over the weekend that he would ask a court to approve the release of police bodycam footage Monday as required by state law. The family was due to view the footage at 11:30am Monday, but Crump and other attorneys for Brown's family say they were told authorities need more time to redact the video by blurring some faces, NPR reports.

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Protests so far have been mostly peaceful, the AP reports, but "city officials realize there may potentially be a period of civil unrest within the city following the public release of that footage," said Mayor Bettie Parker, per USA Today. Witnesses said Brown was shot in the back as he attempted to flee. According to a death certificate seen by CNN, he died from a "penetrating gunshot wound of the head" and the death has been classed as a homicide. Seven deputies have been placed on leave and three others have resigned. According to court documents released Monday, law enforcement reportedly obtained the search warrant in question after Brown was recorded selling small amounts of cocaine and meth to an informant. Crump criticized the decision to release documents "saying all kinds of things about Andrew Brown, but they want to redact the face of the ... officers that killed Andrew Brown." (Read more police shooting stories.)

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