Andrew Brown Jr.’s aunt said Sunday that not all of Brown’s family members were allowed to see the body camera footage from the day he was fatally shot.
“I was overcome with shock and surprise because we were told to come down, Brown family will see the video, that’s what we expected,” Lillie Brown Clark told CNN. “I just don’t understand what they are trying to accomplish. What’s the point in having the video and taxpayers pay for body cams if they are not being seen?”
Initially, it was reported last Monday that Brown’s family viewed 20 seconds of body camera footage from the April 21 shooting in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
Harry Daniels, one of the family attorneys, told CNN that only two family members — including Brown’s son Khalil Ferebee — viewed the 20-second video along with legal representatives.
Protesters and family members have called for the release of body camera footage to determine what led to the shooting that came amid national conversations over policing and racial bias.
A judge ruled Wednesday that the family would be allowed to watch the videos, but that the bodycam footage could not be made public for 30 days
“We don’t want redacted versions we want the actual tape as it comes down,” Clark told CNN.
North Carolina law says body camera video is not a public record and cannot be released without a court order. A media coalition including CNN has petitioned for the footage to be publicly released.
Pasquotank Sheriff Tommy Wooten also called for the release of the video from four body cameras associated with the shooting, and said the judge’s decision was not what he wanted. Wooten said in a news release on Wednesday that he looked at body camera footage and other evidence.
Family and DA offer different accounts of Brown’s death
Brown was fatally shot when Pasquotank County deputies were trying to execute a warrant on April 21, officials said.
In dispatch audio from that day, first responders can be heard saying a man had gunshot wounds to the back. A copy of his death certificate says he died as a result of a gunshot wound of the head.
According to the arrest warrant, issued on April 20 and obtained by CNN on Thursday, Brown “unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously did possess with the intent to sell and deliver a controlled substance, namely approximately three grams of cocaine.”
District Attorney Andrew Womble, the district attorney for the district that includes Pasquotank County, said officers fired when the car Brown was driving moved toward them. Brown’s family and attorneys said he was driving away to save his life from gunfire.
Ferebee, Brown’s son, said he saw his father driving away from the deputies, not toward them. Chantel Cherry-Lassiter, one of the family attorneys, said the video showed an “execution,” in which deputies shot at Brown as he sat in his car with his hands on the wheel.
However, Womble said Wednesday that Brown’s car in the video was stationary when officers approached shouting commands. Womble said in the video, as officers attempted to open a door on the car, the vehicle backed up and made contact with an officer. He said the car then stopped before moving forward and again made contact with law enforcement. After the car moved forward, shots are heard, Womble said.
Sheriff Wooten identified the three deputies who fired at Brown as Investigator Daniel Meads, Deputy Sheriff II Robert Morgan and Cpl. Aaron Lewellyn. All three are on administrative leave, according to Wooten.
Brown’s family seeking justice
Brown’s cousin Jadine Hampton said that although the family is grieving, they can’t stop demanding justice for Brown.
“I think we are grieving but we are doing what we have to do because the way things happened, we have to be here, we have to support, we have to protest, we have a long road ahead,” Hampton told CNN on Sunday.
“The first order is release the tapes, the whole tapes, all of them, every angle, every bodycam that was on, we need to see it.”
Brown’s funeral will be held Monday at a Fountain of Life Church in Elizabeth City, said Benjamin Crump, a civil rights attorney and lawyer for the Brown family. Members of Brown’s family and Crump are expected to speak, along with the Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights leader, who will deliver the eulogy.