• An attorney representing the Brown family accuses county officials of "walking back" promises
  • Brown's family said police found no weapons nor drugs in his vehicle or home
  • Attorneys for Brown's family plan to seek an independent autopsy

Amid a string of fatal killings of unarmed Black people by police in the US, the family of Andrew Brown Jr -- a 42-year-old Black man who was shot dead by deputies in North Carolina last week -- has described the incident as an "execution."

The shooting took place on April 21 morning when deputies from Pasquotank and Dare Counties visited Brown's home to serve him an arrest warrant over a felony drug investigation, officials said. They added that deputies fired at the victim's car when he tried to drive away from his home.

Brown was a father of seven children.

On Monday afternoon, after an unexpected delay, Brown’s family members were shown a short snippet of police body camera footage of the incident, CNN reported. Harry Daniels, one of the lawyers representing the victim’s family, said he was notified on Monday from Pasquotank County Attorney Michael Cox that redactions were being made to the video. Daniels accused the county administrators of "walking back" the promises they made, and asked them to show the tape.

The victim’s family and attorneys said that county officials only offered them a 20-second clip of one police bodycam video. They said that the footage showed several sheriff's deputies, some of them armed with high-caliber rifles, firing a series of shots into Brown's car while his hands were on the steering wheel, ABC News reported.

Police Line
Representational Image AFP / Johannes EISELE

Ben Crump, one of the attorneys of the Brown family, said that they didn’t get transparency. “We only saw a snippet of the incident. They determined what was pertinent," he said.

Brown's son Khalil Ferebee said that his dad “got executed just by trying to save his own life." Calling the whole incident “messed up”, Ferebee added that the officers were in no harm of him at all.

So far, no video of the incident has been released publicly. According to the CNN report, in dispatch audio from the crime scene, first responders can be heard saying a man had gunshot wounds to the back. A copy of Brown’s death certificate states that he died due to a gunshot wound of the head, the report said. According to the family members, no weapons or drugs were found in Brown's vehicle or home.

Brown’s family attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said that the victim wasn't trying to reach for anything. “He (Brown) wasn't touching anything, he wasn't throwing anything around," she said, adding that Brown eventually tried to get out of the situation to save his own life. He backed out of the driveway, and officers shot at him as he drove off. The vehicle, full of bullet holes, then crashed into a tree.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Attorneys for Brown's family now plan to seek an independent autopsy.

This tragic shooting took place one day after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man. Floyd’s death resulted in massive protests against police brutality and gave birth to the “Black Lives Matter” movement in the US.