Andrew Brown Jr., a black man who was fatally shot by North Carolina MPs in April, died from a gunshot wound to the back of his head, according to an autopsy report released Thursday. The autopsy, which confirms the main findings of a previous autopsy ordered by Brown’s family, is fueling new calls for the release of full-body camera images of the altercation.
The brown wasin Elizabeth City, North Carolina, after sheriff’s deputies serving felony arrest warrants and a search warrant surrounded his car. A brief video of the shooting, released in May, shows the car backing up as officers attempt to muster before Brown turns left in an apparent attempt to pull away between officers. The deputies fired a total of 14 shots and the car crashed shortly after.
The 42-year-old man’s cause of death was determined to be a “penetrating gunshot wound to the head” and the mode of death was considered homicide, according to the report. Brown was also shot in the upper part of his right arm, according to the report. The autopsy found a small amount of methamphetamine in his body, but said it “probably did not play a role in the cause or manner of Mr. Brown’s death.”
In a statement, attorneys for Brown’s family said the autopsy findings “prove what we’ve always known to be true: Pasquotank County MPs executed Andrew Brown Jr. with a bullet in the body. neck”. The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In May, District Attorney Andrew Womble said theby shooting Brown and none of the officers would be charged with his death. While Womble admitted Brown was unarmed, he said MPs believed it was necessary to use deadly force because Brown was using his car as “a deadly weapon”.
At the time, an attorney for the family said they were planning to file a federal lawsuit. The family called Brown’s death an “execution” and said Brown posed no threat to the officers. The FBI is also investigating the case.
“The most cowardly thing you can do is shoot a person from behind when they pose no threat of harm or violence to you,” family attorney Ben Crump said.
Womble said Brown’s car made contact with officers before it opened fire. But Brown’s family, who were cleared by the court to view about 18 minutes of the footage, said the footage shows Brown did not hit the police with his car before they started shooting.
“My father did not deserve to die at all,” his son Jha’rod Ferebee told reporters after viewing the footage. “He didn’t deserve to be killed in any way. He posed no threat at all.”
Brown’s family and racial justice advocates have requested the release of approximately two hours of body camera footage, which requires court approval under North Carolina law. But the judge handling the case said the video should not be shown to the public for at least 30 days to allow an independent investigation into the case.
Jeff Pegues contributed reporting.