ELIZABETH CITY, NC (AP) – Leaders of a North Carolina city where a black man was shot dead by lawmakers serving on drug-related searches and warrants, scheduled for Friday to vote on a resolution urging a court to release the camera video of the body of the shooting.
Requests for transparency come amidst the signs, including emergency scanner traffic, that Andrew Brown Jr. was shot in the back and killed while trying to escape.
Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II said at least one of the deputies serving terms on Wednesday’s shooting wore a body camera and it had been activated. A notice published by the Elizabeth City City Council said it intended to have the city attorney petition a local court to make the video public.
The council measure would not be binding on the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office, which is a separate entity from the city government. In North Carolina, a judge must generally sign the release of the camera footage, but the law says anyone can petition the court to ask for it to be released.
The sheriff did not provide a timetable for the release of the video, also urged by protesters who have taken to the streets every night since Brown was killed.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that President Joe Biden is aware of Brown’s death, but that Biden will likely leave the timing decisions for releasing the body camera footage to local authorities.
“Obviously, the loss of life is a tragedy and of course we are thinking about family members and the community,” Psaki said during his daily briefing.
Wooten said deputies from his department, including a tactical team, were attempting to serve the search and drug warrants when he was shot, but offered few other details. Nearby Dare County had issued two arrest warrants for Brown on drug charges, including possession with intent to sell cocaine. Brown, 42, had a criminal history dating back to the 1990s, including drug convictions in the past.
Scanner traffic records compiled by broadcastify.com since the morning of the shooting include emergency personnel indicating that Brown was shot in the back. An eyewitness said MPs shot Brown as he tried to escape, and a car removed from the scene appeared to have multiple bullet holes and shattered rear windshield.
“We are responding. Law enforcement officers at the scene advise to shoot, they need EMS, “says one woman, referring to the address where the warrant was served.
“EMS has a 42-year-old male who was shot in the back by a gunshot. We have a vital pulse right now, “said a male voice. Someone later said that first responders were performing resuscitation efforts.
The sheriff, district attorney, and coroner did not immediately respond to emails on Friday asking for comments on scanner traffic. The SBI declined to comment.
Wooten said more lawmakers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation. He did not specify how many deputies were involved.
During Thursday night demonstrations, protesters asked why the deputies opened fire in a residential area down the street from an elementary school. Brown’s car stopped in front of a house near the yellow road signs indicating access to the school.
“That means they fired a shot in a school area,” Quentin Jackson, regional director of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, said, addressing a group of fellow demonstrators.
The people in the crowd nodded and shouted “Yes”. A man shouted: “And they fired at a moving vehicle.”
“When does all this end?” Jackson asked. “When does it stop?”
Wednesday evening, hours after the shooting, Mike Gordon, who lives in the house where Brown’s car hit a tree and stopped, showed a reporter a bullet hole near his front door that he went through. an antique wall clock and everything else in his kitchen.
“I am happy and grateful to the Lord that my wife and I were not at home,” he said.
However, Gordon, a former military police officer, said he was grateful for the work done by law enforcement and hoped people would reserve judgment until the facts came out.
“You never know what happened or what went wrong,” he said. “But now it doesn’t matter. The young man is gone. “
Drew reported from Durham, North Carolina.