Three Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies have resigned and another seven have been put on leave after the fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City, North Carolina media outlets reported Friday, April 23, 2021.
Sheriff Tommy Wooten called for calm Friday evening ahead of a third night of protests. Gov. Roy Cooper called for body camera footage of the shooting to be released, as did Elizabeth City leaders.
“Initial reports of the shooting in Elizabeth City and death of Andrew Brown Jr. this week are tragic and extremely concerning,” Cooper tweeted Friday evening. “The body camera footage should be made public as quickly as possible and the SBI should investigate thoroughly to ensure accountability.”
In addition to the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation review, Wooten called for an outside agency to review the department’s actions. He said any officers who broke the law will be held accountable.
The news about the deputies Friday followed reports earlier in the day that Brown was shot in the back Wednesday as deputies went to his home to serve warrants, according to emergency radio traffic from the shooting.
On Friday, the Elizabeth City council voted during an emergency meeting to ask the sheriff and district attorney to support a judge releasing body camera video from the shooting to the public. North Carolina law says only a judge can make that decision, not local leaders or law enforcement officials.
“We’re going into 72 hours of this thing, and still there are no answers,” Councilman Gabriel Adkins said. “Each day that goes by, there’s more pain and more anger.”
It was county deputies, not city police, who shot Brown. But even as city leaders push for information, the county still has not released the names of the deputies involved or many details of what happened.