The Sheriff’s deputies who shot and killed 42-year-old Andrew Brown Jr. were cleared this week by the Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble.
District Attorney Womble said at a press conference this week that the Deputies’ “actions were consistent with the training and fully supported under the law in protecting their lives and this community.”
He said that the three Deputies involved in the shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. were justified “because Brown’s actions caused deputies to reasonably believe it necessary to use force to protect themselves and others.”
The body camera footage showed Brown repeatedly ignored instructions by the Deputies to deescalate the situation. At one point, the Deputies were in immediate danger as Andrew Brown Jr. got into his car attempted to run one of them over.
The investigation found that the bullet entered through the front windshield. Womble said it was false that the first shot came through the back window and not the front. The trajectory of the shot shows it went forward into the front windshield past the two other Deputies. It was clear the District Attorney was attempting to dispel any rumors that Brown was killed dishonorably.
The Deputy was attempting to get Brown out of the car when Brown put the vehicle in reverse to gain momentum before propelling the forward. Brown seemed to be aiming his vehicle at the Deputy, forcing the Deputy to act defensively. As Brown continued to drive forward, the officer shot through the front windshield. Womble said that by doing this, Brown committed assault with a deadly weapon.
Brown, who took a bullet to his shoulder, continued to flee, driving across the street to a vacant lot. Some of the Deputies shot through the back windshield to stop Brown from hitting one of the Deputies with his car.
Womble said, “I find the facts of this case clearly illustrate the officers who used deadly force on Andrew Brown Jr. did so reasonably.” He added that the Officers used deadly force “only” after “a violent felon used a deadly force.” Womble said that the Officers “did so reasonably and only when a violent felon used a deadly weapon to put their lives in danger.”
Initially, seven Deputies were placed on administrative leave. However, only three remained after the investigation showed not all seven Deputies discharged their weapons.
That didn’t stop Al Sharpton, known to many conservatives as a famous race-baiter, from traveling to North Carolina, where the event occurred, claiming that Brown wasn’t getting justice. “Elizabeth City DA Womble, who is running for Superior Court Judge, gave a bizarre and unconvincing defense of not charging Police for shooting Andrew Brown Jr. in the back of the head!” Sharpton said.
The attorneys of Brown’s family commented, “to say this shooting was justified, despite the known facts, is both an insult and a slap in the face to Andrew’s family, the Elizabeth City community, and to rational people everywhere.”
“Brown’s actions and conduct were indeed dangerous by the time of the shooting,” District Attorney Womble said. He told the press that “Brown posed an immediate threat to the safety of the officers and others.”
Former officer Brandon Tatum watches the bodycam footage and gives his opinion from a law enforcement perspective. You can watch the entire video down below.
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