Attorneys for Andrew Brown Jr. case announce federal lawsuit seeking $30M in damages

Andrew Brown
Posted at 12:25 PM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 10:30:49-04

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. – The attorneys for the Andrew Brown Jr. case announced the filing of a federal lawsuit on Wednesday.

Attorneys Bakari Sellers and Harry Daniels addressed the media to announce the filing the suit, which seeks in excess of $30 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

The complaint that was filed lists that it is against the following: Investigator Daniel Meads, Deputy Sheriff II Robert Morgan, Cpl. Aaron Lewellyn, Lt. Steven Judd, Sgt. Michael Swindell, Sgt. Kenneth Bishop, Sgt. Joel Lunsford, Sheriff Tommy S. Wooten, II, Sheriff Doug Doughtie and John and Jane Doe 1-20.

The lawsuit seeks $30 million in compensatory and consequential damages, including damages for emotional distress, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life and other pain and suffering on all claims allowed by law.

Brown leaves behind seven children. Attorneys say the lawsuit is to bring ease and comfort to his family members.

According to the lawsuit, compensation in damages includes economic losses, special damages that will be determined at trial, and punitive damages on all claims allowed by law against defendants in the excess of $1 million. Attorney fees and other fees such as witness fees, and any further relief the court deems proper, is also stated in the claim.

The morning of April 21 when Brown was killed, deputies were serving a warrant on felony drug charges.

District Attorney Andrew Womble said Brown threatened the lives of deputies with his car and announced in May he would not charge the deputies who shot Brown, striking him in the back of the head. Womble said Brown’s actions made it reasonable for deputies to use deadly force.

Brown family attorneys dispute Wombles claims, saying the officers violated Brown’s rights by using deadly force once it was no longer reasonable for them to believe Brown could run them over.

Womble stated in May that if the first shot fired was justified, the gun fired that followed was also justified.

The attorneys say this lawsuit is filed for not only Brown, but also for anyone else who has experienced injustices from the Pasquotank County Sheriffs Office.

Attorneys say this lawsuit will also give them subpoena powers to see all of the body camera video from the morning when Brown was killed and they say they plan to make those videos public.

They addressed why the lawsuit seeks as much money as $30 million. One attorney's response was, "Why so much money? Well Why is Andrew Brown Jr. dead?"

Brown's family and family attorneys have said he was executed with a shot to the head. His death also sparked continuous protests in Elizabeth City demanding transparency. Wednesday marks the 85th day of protests in the city.

Brown’s son thanked community members for their continued support. Protesters say they’ve marched in the streets every day since Brown was killed in April and will continue to do so until they believe justice is served.

The attorneys says there’s no way to know how long it will take the case to get through the federal court system. In the meantime, they’re asking people to stay in the streets, stay peaceful and continue to uplift and browns name.

The press conference was held at 12 p.m. in front of the federal courthouse on E Main Street. To read the lawsuit filed, click here.