Seven deputies on leave as calls for release of bodycam grow after fatal shooting of Andrew Brown
Courtesy Brown Family
(ELIZABETH CITY, N.C.) — Seven sheriff’s deputies are on paid administrative leave after a deputy shot and killed a Black man while executing a search warrant in North Carolina earlier this week, officials said.
Pasquotank County Manager Sparty Hammett confirmed the personnel changes to ABC News on Friday.
It is unclear if the seven deputies include the one who fatally shot Andrew Brown Jr., 42, at his home in Elizabeth City on Wednesday morning. The unnamed deputy was placed on administrative leave following the shooting pending a review by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, according to Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten.
Three deputies have also resigned, Hammett said Friday, though a sheriff’s office spokesperson told ABC News the resignations were not related to the shooting incident.
Wooten sent his condolences to the Brown family in a Facebook Live video posted Friday and said he would hold any deputies accountable if they broke the law, adding there were “a lot of unknowns and misconceptions out there.”
“I can assure the public, if any of my deputies — I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again — if any of my deputies broke any laws, violated any policies that come out through this investigation, they will be held accountable,” he said.
The deputy was wearing an active body camera during the shooting, but Wooten said the footage can only be released at the order of a judge.
During an emergency meeting Friday, Elizabeth City Council members agreed to file a court order if the sheriff’s office denies their request to release the body camera footage.
Gov. Roy Cooper has also called for the release of the footage “as quickly as possible.” Protests in the days following the shooting have also demanded the release of the footage.
Deputies were serving a warrant for felony drug charges when the shooting occurred, Wooten said.
“We are currently working that right now as hard as we can,” he told reporters Thursday. “We will be transparent with this situation, absolutely.”
Further details about the shooting were not immediately available.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation will turn its findings over to the district attorney for the state’s first prosecutorial district, who will decide on any possible criminal charges, authorities said.
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