3 deputies resign, 7 on leave following fatal police shooting in Elizabeth City, sheriff says

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ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVYWNCN) – Seven deputies are on administrative leave following Wednesday’s shooting of Andrew Brown in Elizabeth City, according to Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten.

Another three deputies have resigned since Wednesday, WAVY’s Jason Marks reports.

The sheriff the bodycam video could be released in the next couple days.

The release of the body camera footage requires a court order under North Carolina law.

The Elizabeth City Council held an emergency meeting starting at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

The City Council voted unanimously during the meeting to petition the Pasquotank County sheriff to release the body camera video. If the request is denied, the city attorney is directed to go to a superior court to request an order for release.

The meeting was off to contentious start after Councilman Darius Horton didn’t ask Mayor Bettie Parker and others if Brown’s family members could come in. Currently, council chambers are closed to the public because of COVID-19,.

The city attorney said during the meeting that he doesn’t think the city has much standing to legally request release of body camera video, but Horton moved to do it anyway to “send a message.”

Protesters are demanding the release of body camera video of the incident. Witnesses say Brown was shot as he was driving away.

“The fact that an officer shot him — for what? Shoot the tires. Apparently people said they were shooting from the front and shooting from the back. you could have hit the other officer like that,” said his brother Antron Brown.

Recordings of scanner traffic compiled by broadcastify.com from the morning of the shooting include emergency personnel indicating that Brown was shot in the back. An eyewitness has said that deputies fired shots at Brown as he tried to drive away, and a car authorities removed from the scene appeared to have multiple bullet holes and its back windshield shattered.

“We are responding. Law enforcement on scene advises shots fired, need EMS,” says one woman, who refers to the address where the warrant was served.

“EMS has got one male 42 years of age, gunshot to the back. We do have viable pulse at this time,” said a male voice. Someone then said that first responders were performing resuscitation efforts.

The sheriff, district attorney and state medical examiner didn’t immediately respond to emails Friday asking for comment on the scanner traffic. The SBI declined to comment.

On Friday night, Wooten, the Pasquotank sheriff, also held a Facebook live press conference. He was joined by local faith leaders, who expressed support that the sheriff will ensure justice comes out of the situation.

The sheriff reiterated that if it’s determined his deputies broke the law or policies, they will be held accountable.

“And again, because it’s what the citizens expect of me … and it’s the right thing to do,” Wooten said.

The Facebook live was abruptly cut off after technical issues throughout the stream.

Friday evening Gov. Roy Cooper released a statement on Twitter about the shooting, saying that video should be released “as quickly as possible” and called for an SBI investigation.

“Initial reports of the shooting in Elizabeth City and death of Andrew Brown, Jr. this week are tragic and extremely concerning. The body camera footage should be made public as quickly as possible and the SBI should investigate thoroughly to ensure accountability,” Cooper’s statement said.

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