Andrew Brown Jr.’s Family To File Civil Rights Lawsuit
The family of Andrew Brown Jr., say they will file a civil rights lawsuit over his death on April 21 at the hands of Pasquotank County, N.C., sheriff’s deputies. The development comes just two days after District Attorney Andrew Womble said the deputies were were justified in shooting him.
According to CBS News, the Brown family will file a federal civil rights lawsuit against the deputies and the department. Attorney Harry Daniels said the lawsuit will allege the 42-year-old father was deprived of his rights “under color of state law.”
Additionally, the family is also hoping the Justice Department will “take a role” into the release of the unredacted bodycam footage, which protesters have been demanding to be released. Chance D. Lynch, another attorney for the Brown family, said he petitioned the court for the family to see full unredacted body camera footage and details from the state investigation, according to USA Today.
North Carolina does not consider body camera footage as public record and a court order would be needed to for its release.
According to CBS News, on April 27, Superior Court Judge Jeffery Foster said he would not publicly release the footage because it could jeopardize the ongoing investigation into Brown’s death or threaten the safety of people seen in the footage.
Foster said the video must remain out of public view for at least 30 days, but he would consider releasing it after that point if investigations are complete.
The investigation is now complete but it is not clear if the judge will order for the footage to be released.
Brown was shot and killed by deputies while they executed a search warrant on drug charges on April 21 in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Witnesses say Brown was driving away at the time and deputies fired several rounds, killing him.
A video released on May 18 by District Attorney Andrew Womble at the press conference apparently shows Brown attempting to leave the house where his car was parked and turn away from the officers while they yell for him to stop.
Brown was shot five times, including in the back of the head, according to an independent autopsy commissioned by his family.