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Attorneys: Video shows Andrew Brown Jr. didn't drive toward deputies, contradicting sheriff's claims

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Posted at 11:29 AM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 13:28:29-04

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — Family members of a North Carolina man shot and killed by police in April say police body camera footage directly contradicts claims that sheriff's department officials made in the days after the fatal shooting.

Brown's family says the new footage the viewed Tuesday contradicts the sheriff's department claims that Brown posed a threat and attempted to drive his car into deputies while fleeing the scene.

Instead, attorneys claim that videos they saw show that Brown was not a threat to deputies and did not drive towards the deputies. They say that Brown actually went in the opposite direction of the deputies.

"We did not see any actions on Mr. Brown's part where he made contact with them or tried to go in their direction," attorney Chance Lynch told reporters. "In fact, he did just the opposite. While there was a group of law enforcement that were in front of him, he went the opposite direction."

Attorneys say that they counted approximately six bullet holes on the passenger side of Brown's vehicle and six on the back windshield with the windows shattered. They say the video they watched showed Brown lose control of the vehicle after the last shot, causing him to strike a tree.

Attorneys say they pulled Brown out of the vehicle and laid him facing the ground while they searched his home.

Brown was shot and killed by police on April 21 as officers attempted to serve a narcotics warrant at his house. An autopsy conducted by the family shows that Brown was shot five times by officers — four times in his arm, and once in the back of the head at the base of his skull.

The Pasquotank County Sheriff's Department and court officials in North Carolina have yet to make body camera footage of the shooting public. In the days following the shooting, the department showed edited snippets of the incident to family members and their attorneys.

Earlier this month, a judge ordered that Brown's family members could view five additional videos of the shooting, so long as the facial features of the deputies involved were blurred. On Tuesday afternoon, Khalil Ferebee, one of Brown's sons, his immediate family members and an attorney viewed the additional footage.

In a press conference after viewing the footage attorneys called Brown's fatal shooting "unjustified and unconstitutional."

"We showed all the footage authorized by the courts to the Brown family," Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II said in a video posted to Facebook Tuesday.

Originally, seven deputies were put on administrative leave after Brown was killed. On April 29, four deputies were put back on duty after Wooten said they did not fire weapons. Three deputies are still on leave.

The FBI Charlotte Field Office has since opened a federal civil rights investigation into the fatal shooting.

Brown's attorneys wrote a letter Monday demanding that District Attorney Andrew Womble to step down.

Brown's family, attorneys, some elected officials and many days of protests have called for more transparency and for the release of body camera footage.

Peaceful protests, which have occurred regularly in Elizabeth City since the fatal shooting on April 21, continued on Tuesday. Attorneys, family members and protesters said they'll continue raising their voices peacefully until they believe justice is served.

This story was originally published by Scripps station WTKR in Norfolk, Virginia.