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Lawyer: Police Video Shows an Execution

Family sees 20-second clip of Andrew Brown Jr.'s death
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2021 5:31 PM CDT

(Newser) – Five days after Andrew Brown Jr., a 42-year-old Black man, was shot to death by North Carolina sheriff's deputies, members of his family were allowed to see a brief video clip of his killing. What they saw, one lawyer for the family said, was an execution. Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said Brown was sitting in his vehicle with his hands on the steering wheel when Pasquotank County deputies fired, CNN reports. "He wasn't reaching for anything, he wasn't touching anything, he wasn't throwing anything around," she said. Brown then backed out of the driveway and drove away, she said, while being shot at. His vehicle crashed into a tree. Asked after seeing the video if Brown had been shot in the back, Harry Daniels, another family attorney, said, per AP, "Yes, back of the head."

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The sheriff's department has released little information about the confrontation, and Brown's family complained Monday about the lack of transparency. Cherry-Lassiter said as many as eight deputies were there, but the family saw only video from one deputy's body camera. "They are trying to hide something," said civil rights attorney Ben Crump. "They don't want us to see everything." Since the fatal shooting, seven deputies have been placed on administrative leave, two deputies have resigned, and one has retired, Sheriff Tommy Wooten said. The county plans to seek a court order to release the rest of the body camera footage, he said; state law otherwise prohibits releasing body camera footage to the public. Deputies had gone to Brown's home in Elizabeth City with a warrant to search for drugs, based on information from an informant. (Read more Andrew Brown stories.)

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