The family of a North Carolina man fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies said Monday they were shown just 20 seconds of body-camera footage that appeared to show the man with his hands on the steering wheel of his car before he was killed.
Loved ones of Andrew Brown Jr., 42, were expected to be shown that body-cam video just before noon on Monday, but that viewing was pushed back several hours due to redactions sought by the county attorney, family lawyers said.
But even in just 20 seconds of video, Brown’s loved ones said it was clear the man was not a threat to law enforcement and shouldn’t have been gunned down.
“My dad got executed just trying to save his own life,” son Khalil Ferebee told reporters outside the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office. “It ain’t right, it ain’t right at all.”
Family attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said the video showed Brown in his vehicle as it was blocked in the Elizabeth City, North Carolina, driveway by law enforcement, making an escape impossible. NBC News has not seen the body camera video.
“Andrew had his hands on his steering wheel. He was not reaching for anything, he wasn’t touching anything,” she said.
“He had his hands firmly on the steering wheel. They run up to his vehicle shooting. He still stood there, sat there in his vehicle with his hands on the steering wheel while being shot at.”
Hours before the video was showed to select family members, Elizabeth City Mayor Bettie Parker declared a state of emergency.
That redacted video and delay angered Brown’s family, especially in light of a search warrant affidavit that was released detailing allegations against him and justifying why deputies sought to arrest the man who was later killed.
“They released a warrant saying all kinds of things about Andrew Brown but they want to redact the face of police officers that killed Andrew Brown?” said Benjamin Crump, another attorney representing the family.
“Now Andrew Brown didn’t kill nobody. The police killed Andrew Brown. But we’re going to protect them and not show their face and not say their names so we can see what their rap sheet is.”
Pasquotank County Attorney R. Michael Cox said in a statement earlier on Monday that state law “allows us to blur some faces on the video and that process takes time.”
He could not be immediately reached for comment late Monday afternoon to answer the family’s accusation that only 20 seconds of heavily edited video was shown to them.
Brown was killed Wednesday as deputies sought to serve a warrant for his arrest on felony drug charges, authorities said. A search warrant affidavit, made public on Monday, accused Brown of selling cocaine, crack, meth and heroin.
While circumstances of his death remain unclear, seven deputies have been put on administrative leave in the wake of last week’s fatal encounter. Three deputies have resigned their positions, though a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office says those resignations are unrelated to the shooting.
The shooting occurred in a residential neighborhood in Elizabeth City, which is about 35 miles south of Norfolk, Virginia.
Earlier on Monday, Mayor Parker declared a state of emergency ahead of the release of the footage and a potential “period of civil unrest.” The footage can only be publicly released by a judge.
The declaration clears a way for the city to receive state and federal assistance “to protect our citizens,” according to Parker.
The fatal shooting happened when a SWAT-style team tried to serve the warrants last week, sheriff’s officials have said. Brown was a convicted felon with a history of resisting arrest, which meant the procedure was considered to have a higher risk than others, authorities said.
Gov. Roy Cooper has called Brown’s death “tragic and extremely concerning” and called for a state probe “to ensure accountability.”
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