The 42-year-old was shot and killed by deputies last Wednesday during the execution of a search warrant.
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — Elizabeth City, North Carolina, has declared a state of emergency ahead of the release of body camera footage of the law enforcement killing of Andrew Brown Jr. last week.
The 42-year-old was shot and killed by deputies last Wednesday during the execution of a search warrant. Witnesses have said Brown was driving away at the time and deputies fired several rounds, killing him.
After the shooting, seven deputies were placed on administrative leave and three resigned. The three who resigned were not directly involved in the shooting, Pasquotank Sheriff Tommy Wooten said. One was nearing retirement.
Brown’s family is expected to view the footage around 11:30 a.m. Monday, and the video is expected to be released to the public sometime after. WAVY and other media organizations have petitioned the court to order the release of the footage, as well as the Elizabeth City City Council and Sheriff Wooten, per North Carolina Rep. Howard Hunter.
Mayor Bettie Parker says law enforcement expects a “period of civil unrest” after the release of the video and the order helps mobilize state and federal resources. At this time, the National Guard has not been requested, emergency management officials say, and there is no curfew or restrictions at this time.
The order went into effect at 8 a.m. and will continue indefinitely. City offices are closed and local schools are doing remote learning until the end of the week.
Parker emphasized citizens have the right to peacefully assemble and protest and the city is committed to protecting those rights, but said “our citizens and businesses must be protected from violence or damage.”
Protests have been going on peacefully in the city for days since Brown was killed.
A group of protesters has already assembled Monday ahead of the family’s viewing of the footage to demand it be released publicly.
North Carolina law requires a court to order the release to the public. People involved in body camera video or other parties such as a family members are allowed to view the video, but the court has to decide whether someone can disseminate that footage.
WAVY also obtained the search warrant in the case on Monday, which says authorities had been watching Brown for more than a year for alleged drug activity. Brown also has two pending drug cases in court.
Brown’s family has acknowledged he had faults, but said he wasn’t a violent person and should not have been killed.
“He was a good guy. Everybody has their flaws. He was trying to get his kids back,” said his brother Antron Brown.
This is a breaking update. Follow WAVY for continued coverage in the case.