Announcement expected in probe of Andrew Brown Jr. shooting

Published 8:41 am Tuesday, May 18, 2021

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The district attorney who will decide whether to file criminal charges in the fatal shooting of a black man by North Carolina deputies will discuss on Tuesday the findings of the state’s investigation into what happened.

District Attorney Andrew Womble scheduled a news conference for 11 a.m. to talk about what the State Bureau of Investigation found in its probe of the death of Andrew Brown Jr.

Womble didn’t respond to an email Monday asking if he would announce a decision about filing criminal charges against the deputies. Womble has resisted calls from the Governor Roy Cooper and Brown’s family to let an independent prosecutor take over. Under state law, Womble would have to agree to step aside.

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A spokeswoman for the State Bureau of Investigation didn’t respond to an email Monday asking for confirmation that the investigation is complete.

Deputies attempting to serve drug-related search and arrest warrants shot and killed Brown outside his Elizabeth City home on April 21. Three deputies involved in the shooting remain on leave, while four others who were at the scene were reinstated after the sheriff said they didn’t fire their weapons.

An independent autopsy released by the family found that Brown was hit by bullets five times, including once in the back of the head. Lawyers for Brown’s family who watched body camera footage say that it shows Brown was not armed and that he didn’t drive toward deputies or pose a threat to them. Womble has previously disagreed in court, saying that Brown struck deputies twice with his car before any shots were fired.

The sheriff has said his deputies weren’t injured.

The shooting sparked protests over multiple weeks by demonstrators calling for the public release of body camera footage. While authorities have shown footage to Brown’s family, a judge refused to release the video publicly pending the state investigation.

Separately, the FBI has launched a civil rights probe of the shooting.



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