ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - Body camera footage from the fatal deputy-involved shooting of Andrew Brown is scheduled be shown to Brown's family Monday, and there is a planned peaceful gathering at the Pasquotank County Public Safety Building April 26, at 7:00 a.m.
Wayne Kendall, one of the lawyers for the family said Brown’s older children, his siblings, aunts, uncles, and close cousins will be able to privately watch the footage.
“My co-council has spoken with the family directly about the issue, but I do know that they are pleased and have requested to see the recording,” Kendall said.
The family and their attorney were scheduled to view the video at the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office at 11:30 a.m. Monday, however, the family still awaits. As the family waits to review footage, the family's attorney held a news conference.
Eric Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, was in attendance and spoke encouraging words to the crowd during the press conference.
Officials say they are currently making redactions to the video to blur faces. Pasquotank County Attorney R. Michael Cox released the following statement as the family waits:
“We’re glad that state law allows us to provide a private viewing of the body camera footage to the family of Mr. Brown and after we received their request on Sunday evening, we began working immediately to make that happen as soon as possible. The law also allows us to blur some faces on the video and that process takes time. Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. Section 132- 1.4A, this may be done when necessary to protect an active internal investigation. As soon as these redactions are complete, we will allow the family to view this footage. We hope this occurs today, but the actual time will be driven by the completion of the redactions. We are also continuing to seek transparency within the law and continue our efforts to get a court order that would allow the video to be released to the public.”
The family’s lawyers said pressure from the community, local officials and the media helped make it happen.
According to Kendall, they negotiated with County Attorney Mike Cox who spoke with the sheriff to show the family the video.
Brown, 42, was shot and killed Wednesday as Pasquotank County Sheriff’s deputies were serving a warrant on felony drug charges. Monday morning News 3 obtained images of the warrant. Click here to read part 1 and click here to read part 2.
Kendall said Brown was unarmed as he was driving away from the scene.
Kendall said watching what may have led to the shooting will help the family move forward.
“It’s part of the healing process to know what happened to a loved one who was tragically gunned down in the manner Mr. Brown was gunned down, so it’s a start but it’s bit much to say that it will bring closure,” he said.
The family’s fight isn’t over.
Lawyers are continuing their push to get the footage released to the public.
Kendall said since the recording is not considered public record under North Carolina law, it’ll be up to law enforcement to make it public.
“Because they’re not deemed to be public records there may never ever be an opportunity for the public to see these recordings.”
The family’s lawyers said under state law, Brown’s family has the right to view the body cam footage.
“They also want to know if there were any laws violated,” said Kendall. “If there were laws violated then they want the perpetrators of those acts to be brought to justice. That process is normally and naturally not an overnight process.”
Meantime, Brown’s family remains hopeful that the deputies will be held accountable as the investigation plays out.
“We just want the truth out,” said Zena Jackson, Andrew Brown’s cousin. “We just want the sheriff to let us know what’s going on - the truth. That’s all we want. We want justice.”
Famed civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represented George Floyd, is now representing two of Brown’s sons. He’ll be viewing the bodycam footage with the family.
Following the viewing of the footage to the family, Crump, Bakari Sellers, and Harry Daniels will hold a press conference to address the media, according to a release from the family's attorneys.
Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office provided updates in a video statement Saturday after days of protests calling for the release of the footage.
Pasquotank County Sheriff Wooten says that the office wants the bodycam footage of the shooting to be made public, but says that it is not the office's decision.
The sheriff told News 3 on Friday the DA was worried that releasing the recording too soon could hinder the investigation
Sheriff Wooten emphasized that only a judge can release the video. He says that he has asked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to confirm that its release will not undermine their investigation.
The office says they hope to file a motion in court on Monday to release the footage if the SBI says it will not impact the investigation.
Seven deputies are on administrative leave following the incident. The NAACP is calling for Wooten's resignation.