A North Carolina judge has decided for now not to publicly release bodycam footage of a black man killed by sheriff’s deputies.
That footage reportedly also shows Andrew Brown backing his car into officers before the shooting.
The judge’s decision not to release the bodycam footage to the public was based on two factors – one was the safety of the officers shown in the video, and another was that it could prejudice the trial.
Superior Court Judge Jeff Foster did rule that multiple body cameras and one dashboard camera must be shown to Brown’s family within 10 days, with the faces of the officers blurred and parts redacted.
The decision came shortly after the county district attorney said that Andrew Brown Jr. hit law enforcement officers with his car before they opened fire.
Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble said, “The car goes in a reverse position. The law enforcement officer is forced to release the door handle and the car is backing up.”
New street camera footage shows the scene minutes before Brown was killed. Deputies piled in the back of a pickup truck, turning the corner, and jumping out shouting, “Hands up. Hands up.”
An autopsy showed Brown was shot five times – four in his arm, and a shot to the back of the head that took his life.
Ben Crump, attorney for the Brown family, said, “So it went into the base of the neck in the bottom of the right, the skull, and got lodged in his brain.”
Brown’s family and its lawyers and supporters arrived at the courthouse Wednesday morning, led by Brown’s 92-year-old grandmother, Lydia Brown.
The FBI has opened a separate civil rights investigation to look into whether any federal laws were violated.
Khalil Ferebee, Andrew Brown Jr.’s son, said, “We all need answers and we just can’t get it. It’s stressing us out a lot. You know, we haven’t been eating, sleeping like we supposed to. It’s just eating us up.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called for a special prosecutor and the FBI’s Charlotte field office plans to work closely with the Department of Justice “to determine whether federal laws were violated.”