Protesters Shut Down NC Highway Demanding Release of Police Body Cam Video

Elizabeth City, NC – Protesters demanding the release of police body cam video from a fatal shooting last week shut down a stretch of highway for hours on Tuesday night.

A group of demonstrators reportedly blocked portions of Route 17 and 158 in Pasquotank County for hours over demands local police release body cam video of a shooting that killed 42-year-old Andrew Brown Jr.




 

On the morning of Wednesday, April 21, police were dispatched to a residence in Elizabeth Center to execute search and arrest warrants for Brown on drug-related charges.

During the course of the operation, police shot Brown five times, striking him in the right arm four times and in the back of the neck once, according to an independent autopsy ordered by the Brown family’s lawyers.

Authorities said Brown attempted to flee arrest by leaving in a vehicle, and in so doing, endangered the safety of officers at the scene.

However, attorneys for Brown’s family argue Brown left the scene because he feared for his life and that police used excessive force on the father of 10 children.




 

After reviewing 20 seconds of police body cam video on Monday, attorneys representing the Brown family insisted the shooting was an “execution.”

At a press conference, they demanded the release of all video footage from the incident.

Under North Carolina law, most body camera footage can only be released with a court order.

Protesters have staged demonstrations for the last week in response to the fatal shooting and are still demanding answers.

 

On Tuesday evening, demonstrators again deployed a tactic we have seen many times since the death of George Floyd last May.

“We are standing at the intersection of Highway 17 and Highway 158. This is one of the only two entrances into our county, into our city,” a demonstrator told local news outlet WAVY 10. “We’re blocking this entrance because we want our county [officials] to understand we need our voices heard. We need the true video released. We need to hear from our district attorney. If they want their streets back, release the information.”

Protesters reportedly began dispersing at 8 p.m. as Pasqoutank County remains under a curfew.


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The FBI on Tuesday also announced it has launched an investigation into the incident.

“Agents will work closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice to determine whether federal laws were violated,” the FBI said. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment further.”




 

Since the shooting, seven Pasqoutank County deputies have been placed on administrative leave and three who were not directly involved have resigned.

More police body cam videos are expected to be released soon and could potentially set off a wave of highway protests and civil unrest not unlike what we experienced all of last summer.

This will be a story TransportationNation.com will be monitoring closely.

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