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'We want the tape': Protests continue in North Carolina following funeral for Andrew Brown Jr.

Protest after Andrew Brown funeral (May 3).jpg
Posted at 10:14 AM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-04 10:14:43-04

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — For nearly a dozen nights, Josh Grooten has taken to the streets of his hometown, Elizabeth City.

“Basically, I wanted to support my community,” Grooten said. “We're just out here making a stand. We just want the tape. That's what we want — we want the tape.”

Monday night, Grooten and others marched down Ehringhaus Street with police following closely, hours after Andrew Brown Jr.’s funeral.

Brown was shot and killed by a Pasoquotank County sheriff's deputy on April 21. His death added to the list of officer-involved deaths that have led to protests across the country, including several days of peaceful ones in Elizabeth City.

“It's crazy what's going on right now, and I love my daddy to death,” one of Brown’s sons said at his funeral Monday.

Brown's family and civil rights leaders, including Rev. Al Sharpton, joined the message protesters have voiced for nearly two weeks since Brown's death, calling for answers and the release of the body cam footage related to the shooting.

“This must stop,” Sharpton said. “I come in Jesus’s name to stand up for a Black man that might've had a record, but he had a right to live his life.”

Meanwhile, for Grooten, he said what drives him to keep protesting is to keep the pressure on.

“We want answers, and we're asking for answers, and we won't stop until we get answers,” he said.

Law enforcement did not respond when asked if any arrests were made during Monday night's demonstrations.

While video footage of the shooting has not been made public, the sheriff's department showed Brown's family and their lawyers a a 20-second portion of the video last week. Brown's claims the video showed an "execution."

An autopsy commissioned by Brown's family and their lawyers showed that he was shot five times during the incident — four times in his arm, and once in the back of the head.

Meanwhile, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and FBI are both investigating the shooting, and Governor Roy Cooper has called for a special prosecutor to handle the case.

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