Community awaits body-cam footage in Elizabeth City police shooting


The downtown area of Elizabeth City, has been the site of protests for body-cam footage to be released after the shooting of an unarmed black man, 42-year-old Andrew Brown. The shooting occured closer to home, during a national conversation about race and police use of force against black individuals.

John Robbins, Staff Reporter

Community members and family of Andrew Brown Jr., a 42-year old black man who was shot and killed in an encounter with police on Wednesday, have been left with more questions than answers as body-cam footage of the shooting remains unseen. Family members met with Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten in recent days, believing that they would be shown the video footage from the officers involved, but were told that would not happen until the investigation was complete. However, Sheriff Wooten announced in a video on his Facebook page that he wants the footage of the shooting to be made public this week as long as it does not interfere with the investigation. Under North Carolina law, a court judge must sign off on the release of law enforcement body-cam footage.
Although the full picture of what happened with the shooting of Brown Jr. remains unclear, there are some things we do know. Sheriff deputies arrived at Brown’s home with a warrant for his arrest on drug-related charges and the search of his property. Brown tried to drive off with his car through a neighbor’s front lawn and was fired at from behind by law enforcement. The number of shots fired and the reasoning behind why they chose to use deadly force remains unknown. Daily protests have occurred in downtown Elizabeth City since the shooting happened as well as a makeshift memorial set up at the site of the shooting. Elizabeth City is a small town in Northeastern North Carolina close to the Virginia border and notably has a majority black population. Residents are understandably upset and speaking, with Andrew Brown Jr being killed less than a day after the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.