The family of Andrew Brown Jr., a black man, has been engaged in a legal battle to obtain body camera footage from an encounter with North Carolina police in Elizabeth City in 2021. Brown was fatally shot by deputies while in his car, following an attempt to drive away during the execution of a warrant on felony drug charges.
Initially, the sheriff’s department denied the family access to the footage. Subsequently, the release of the video was delayed as it had to be reviewed by investigators. When the family finally viewed the footage, it was only 30 seconds long, with redactions made by the department.
In the video, officers are seen approaching Brown’s vehicle with their guns drawn. Brown reverses his car and then drives away, grazing one officer. The officers then fired over 14 shots at the car, with one shot fatally striking Brown in the back of his head. The vehicle subsequently crashed into a tree approximately 50 yards away.
While Brown’s family believes he did not pose a threat at the time of the shooting, the district attorney of North Carolina’s First Judicial District determined that Brown had used his car as a deadly weapon against the officers. As a result, the seven deputies involved were placed on administrative leave, two resigned, one retired, and the remaining four returned to duty.
The family of Andrew Brown Jr. was awarded $30 million in a settlement.