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New video shows deputies arriving at Andrew Brown's home before fatal shooting

The video was captured by an Elizabeth City camera. Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said it shows a "militarized police force."
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New video released Tuesday shows Pasquotank County sheriff's deputies arriving at the home of Andrew Brown Jr. to serve an arrest warrant before the Black man was shot and killed.

Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing Brown's family, tweeted that the video showed a "militarized police force rushing to kill Andrew Brown" and said that type of policing is "terrorizing" communities.

There have been protests and demands for answers after Brown, 42, was fatally shot by deputies in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, on Wednesday.

His family watched body camera video Monday, and a family attorney, Chantel Cherry-Lassiter, said it shows Brown had his hands on a car steering wheel and that he posed no threat when he was shot.

A private autopsy commissioned by the family and released Tuesday says he was shot five times, including once in the back of the head.

On Tuesday, the FBI announced it was opening a federal civil rights investigation in the shooting death.

The sheriff's office has said that a SWAT-style team was used to serve the warrants and to try and arrest Brown because he was a convicted felon with a history of resisting arrest, which meant the procedure was considered to have a higher risk.

The video released Tuesday, which was captured by Elizabeth City cameras and first published by NBC affiliate WAVY, shows what appears to be deputies in helmets and tactical gear in the back of a pickup marked "sheriff" arriving at the home last week.

They then jump out of the vehicle and run out of view of the camera, and what appears to be shouted commands are heard. The video does not show the shooting, it freezes in part, and gunfire is not heard. The video was released to NBC News by Elizabeth City officials through a public records request.

The deputies were serving a warrant for Brown's arrest on felony drug charges, officials have said.

Image: Andrew Brown Jr protest
Demonstrators protesting the police shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr. block U.S. Highway 17 in Elizabeth City, N.C., on April 27, 2021.Travis Long / The News & Observer via AP

Sheriff Tommy Wooten has urged patience as an independent investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is conducted.

“I want answers about what happened as much as the public does. The private autopsy released by the family is important, and I continue to pray for them during this difficult time," Wooten said in a statement.

"However, a private autopsy is just one piece of the puzzle," he said. "The independent investigation being performed by the SBI is crucial, and the interviews, forensics, and other evidence they gather will help ensure that justice is accomplished.”

The private autopsy found that Brown was shot four times in the right arm and once in the back of the head. A state death certificate released by the family says the immediate cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head, and a box is checked indicating homicide as the manner.

The state autopsy has not yet been released.

An attorney for the family, Wayne Kendall, said Tuesday that Brown was killed as he was trying to evade being shot at, and he said law enforcement conducted "a straight-up execution."

There have been many calls to release complete body camera video. Attorneys for the family say that will fill in crucial gaps as to what happened. Few details about the shooting itself have been released by authorities.

Wooten and the county have said that the incident was over in less than 30 seconds. A county government website says that the family viewed video showing the entire encounter, and other video shows things like deputies providing first aid but blurring faces in that video would have delayed showing the family the video Monday.

In North Carolina, a judge has to sign off on formal requests to have police video released. The sheriff's office has asked it be released to the family. A hearing about the release of the video is scheduled for Wednesday.