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Pasquotank Co. sheriff: Department has advanced its training after Andrew Brown Jr. shooting

Andrew Brown Jr. settlement press conference (June 7)
Andrew Brown Jr. settlement press conference (June 7)
Posted at 6:52 PM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 23:29:24-04

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - We're hearing from the attorneys of the family of Andrew Brown Jr. Pasquotank County's sheriff after a $3 million settlement was reached this week for a civil lawsuit on Brown's death.

Brown was shot and killed by sheriff's deputies in his car in April 2021. Since then, his case and Elizabeth City have gotten nationwide attention.

Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown

Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten says this is all about staying positive and moving forward and bringing some closure to the events that have taken place this past year.

This lawsuit was filed in July 2021, three months after Brown was killed.

Deputies were serving drug-related warrants at Brown's home in Elizabeth City, and several deputies surrounded him in his car before he backed up and moved forward.

Deputies fired several shots at and into Brown’s car. He was killed by a bullet to the back of the head.

District Attorney Andrew Womble has said Brown used his car as a deadly weapon, causing deputies to believe deadly force was necessary to use.

However, family attorneys have said the shooting was not justified because Brown was trying to drive away and not towards deputies.

Since Brown's death, there have been numerous marches to support Brown and his family.

Sheriff Wooten says throughout this time, the sheriff's department has advanced their training to do their jobs more efficiently.

News 3 reporter Zak Dahlheimer asked him what specifically he meant by this, and here's what he had to say:

“We train every day. That’s no secret to nobody,” Wooten said. “We’ve had more advanced training to capitalize, like, for example, de-escalation techniques and stuff. We’ve had opportunities given to us by the county to be able to afford such trainings.”

The sheriff told us his goal in the next one to two years is to continue training.

He also talked about the Citizen Advisory Council, which is meeting Tuesday. This involves community members to be a liaison and voice and help build trust with law enforcement.

Overall, Wooten was very limited on what he could say, as a federal investigation is underway.