A state autopsy report on Thursday concluded Andrew Brown Jr.’s death was a homicide after North Carolina sheriff’s deputies, who are not charged in the case, shot him in the head.
Brown, a black man, was shot dead in April as deputies from the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office attempted to serve an arrest warrant against him. Law enforcement surrounded Brown’s car, which tried to drive away, his family said, before MPs opened fire.
The state report confirmed the discovery of a family autopsy released days after his death that Brown died from a gunshot wound to the head.
The report also states that Brown was shot in the right arm and suffered lacerations and other injuries to his right thigh, right arm and upper back. He also had a low level of methamphetamine in his blood, but that “probably didn’t play a role.”
Brown’s death sparked protests and calls for justice in Elizabeth City as authorities did not immediately release body camera footage of the shooting. State law requires a judge’s approval for release.
More on bodycams:The body cameras have not kept their promises to expose police misconduct. One reason: the police decide what to release.
Prosecutor in charge of the case, Andrew Womble, said last month that MPs involved in the shooting would not be charged because they were justified in their use of lethal force. Womble said Brown hit an MP in his car and nearly knocked him over as Brown ignored MPs orders.
Brown’s family, however, insisted the father was not a threat to the officers and was walking away because he feared for his life.
“The autopsy results prove what we’ve always known to be true: Pasquotank County MPs executed Andrew Brown Jr. with a fatal blow to the back of the head. The false story that DA Womble attempted to weave is completely discredited by this autopsy report, ”Brown’s family attorneys, including civil rights attorney Ben Crump, said in a statement Thursday.
The FBI is investigating the case, and lawyers for the family have said they plan to file federal lawsuits against the deputies and the department.
The police see a threat. The family sees the fear:Expert sees snippets of Andrew Brown Jr. showing “everything wrong with the police.”
Last week, a sheriff’s deputy involved in the shooting, Aaron Lewellyn, resigned, Sheriff Tommy S. Wooten II said, offering no reason for the resignation.
Two other MPs who had also been on leave after the shooting, Daniel Meads and Robert Morgan, returned to work last week, Wooten said. Wooten said MPs will be disciplined and retrained.
Contribution: The Associated Press