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District Attorney says faces need to be blurred before release of body camera footage of Andrew Brown Jr.'s death to family

Andrew Brown
Posted at 12:41 PM, Apr 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-26 12:41:33-04

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - The family of Andrew Brown, the man fatally shot by a deputy while conducting a search warrant, was scheduled to see body camera footage of the incident Monday.

The family and their attorneys reported that they would have the chance the view the footage Monday at 11:30 a.m., at the Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office.

As the family arrived they were made aware that the video is not ready for review due to the need to make redactions.

Pasquotank County Attorney R. Michael Cox released a statement regarding the reason for the delay. He states that the law allows officials to blur faces if needed, which they say takes time. Cox says as soon as that is complete, the family will be allowed to review.

“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.”
Pasquotank County Attorney R. Michael Cox

District Attorney Andrew Womble released the following statement in regards to the release of the footage:

My position regarding release and/or disclosure of the law enforcement body camera videos is guided by my professional responsibilities pursuant to the North Carolina State Bar and grounded in state law. Any such disclosure or release is governed by NCGS 132-1.4A, which requires a Superior Court Judge to review and balance the statutory factors enumerating the who, what, when, where, and how of any disclosure or release. Everyone should want a full, fair, complete, and impartial investigation. I commit to review that investigation and make decisions based on the facts and the law.

Brown's family and attorneys held a press conference Monday expressing their concerns as they wait to review the body camera footage.

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.