Elizabeth City protesters speak out after sheriff releases names and addresses

Andrew Brown Jr. protests (May 11).png
Posted at 11:24 PM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 16:13:00-04

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - Two women say they fear for their safety after Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten released the names and addresses of 12 protesters on his Facebook page. This comes after 12 Pasquotank County citizens filed a police report for being harassed online for their continued protesting of the death of Andrew Brown Jr.

"Our safety has just been put at risk," Andrea Rovenski said.

Twelve protesters who live in Pasquotank County reported being harassed online by another person. That’s when they say they went to the sheriff's office to report it.

In Sheriff Wooten’s statement, he says that after further investigation, the Facebook post that was submitted was an inaccurate representation of a factual Facebook post.

The statement goes on to say all parties were issued a criminal summons for filing a false police report and are awaiting trial.

“I was absolutely confused because I had no reason to think that was going to happen,” said Julia Allen, a protester.

"We went there in good faith to ask for help, and they did the exact opposite," Rovenski said.

Allen says she has been protesting for 68 days after Brown's death. She says she now fears for her safety since Sheriff Wooten released her name and address.

"My first concern was, 'Oh, crap - my husband lives there.' I’m not the only one in my house, so it’s not just my safety I’m concerned about," Allen said.

"Not only are we being harassed, but our families are being harassed as well," Rovenski said.

Elizabeth City Councilman Michael Brooks says Wooten’s Facebook post sends a strong message.

"You’re basically telling the people that, 'We’re not going to protect your privacy. We’re going to give your address and phone number.' He didn’t give the address and phone number of those men who murdered Andrew Brown," Councilman Brooks said.

Rovenski says more people have started to harass her online since her name and address has been released.

"The whole idea is that they don’t want us to protest so they can convince us to be too scared to go out, then the movement will die down," she said.

"None of us are safe at all. We probably will not be for a very long time because of what the sheriff did," Allen said.

News 3 did reach out to Sheriff Wooten’s office, and he did not respond to our request for an interview.