THE family of a Black man Andrew Brown Jr. fatally shot last Wednesday by the Police in the US has described his killing as an “execution” after watching a 20 seconds body camera video recording from the scene, and are calling for the full video footages of the event to be made public.
Brown Jr., 42, was shot dead by Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies in Elizabeth City when they attempted to serve him with an arrest warrant, a day after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd.
A lawyer representing the family Cherry-Lassiter said the video showed deputies shooting at Brown as he sat in his vehicle with his hands on the steering wheel.
“He wasn’t reaching for anything; he wasn’t touching anything, he wasn’t throwing anything around,” she said.
Another family lawyer Benjamin Crump said the Police wanted to have just two family members watch the 20 seconds with no legal counsel “as if they did not have a right to have their legal counsel present”.
One of Brown’s seven children Khalil Ferebee said the Police executed his dad for merely trying to save his own life, adding that “Those officers were in no harm of him at all”.
Brown’s family have criticised the police for their lack of transparency on the matter, saying the 20 seconds video from only one officer’s body camera and was edited to only show what they thought was pertinent and want the full recordings from the scene of the event released.
Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten confirmed that multiple deputies fired shots at Brown. He disclosed that seven deputies involved in the killing had been placed on leave pending a State Bureau of Investigation probe.
Meanwhile, after the videos are released in anticipation of civil unrest, the mayor of Elizabeth City Bettie Parker declared a state of emergency in the city Monday morning that will last “until deemed no longer necessary”.
All departments and agencies of Elizabeth City have been directed to take whatever steps necessary to protect life and property, public infrastructure and provide such emergency assistance deemed necessary to preserve public safety.
According to Statista, the trend of fatal police shootings in the United States seems to be rising. A total of 213 civilians have been killed in the first quarter of 2021, 30 of whom were Black.
The data provider said there were 1,021 fatal police shootings in 2020 and 999 fatal shootings in 2019. Additionally, the rate of fatal police shootings among Black Americans was much higher than that for any other ethnicity, standing at 35 fatal shootings per million of the population as of March 2021.