Those close to Andrew Brown Jr. will say a final farewell on Monday as they continue to question whether North Carolina sheriff’s deputies should have used deadly force in an arrest nearly two weeks ago.
Reverend Al Sharpton is set to praise the 42-year-old black man during a funeral at the Fountain of Life Church, just three miles from where Brown was killed in Elizabeth City on the 21st April.
A viewing and memorial service on Sunday drew hundreds of mourners.
“This problem will not go away without this nation focusing on the real need for police reform,” Sharpton told viewers Sunday on her MSNBC show “Politics Nation.”
“We have to stop having funerals and start having change and celebrating everyone’s lives the same way. And celebrate the police and realize that they follow the law, they are not above them. the law.”
Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Deputies sought to serve an arrest warrant for Brown on drug charges two weeks ago on Wednesday when three of the lawyers opened fire, officials said.
The family commissioned a medical examiner, Dr Brent Hall, who discovered Brown had been shot four times in the right arm and once squarely in the back of the head.
The blow to the head was fired from an “intermediate” distance and penetrated Brown’s skull and brain, according to Hall, who is based in Boone, North Carolina. The gunshot wound had a trajectory “from bottom to top, left to right and back to front,” Hall’s report said.
A state death certificate showed Brown died from a “penetrating gunshot wound to the head.”
Brown’s son Khalil Ferebee said the results showed his father posed no threat to MPs, rendering lethal force unnecessary.
“Weren’t those gunshots in the arm enough?” Wasn’t that enough? he said. “Obviously he was trying to get away. It’s obvious, and they’re going to shoot him in the back of the neck? That’s not true. It’s not fair at all, man.”
A judge last week rejected offers to show the public body camera footage of MPs shooting Brown, while stipulating that the man’s family would be allowed to view it.
Superior Court Judge Jeff Foster said handing over footage to news media could affect a potential trial of law enforcement officers who opened fire on Brownot. He also said he would reconsider the matter in 30 to 45 days after investigations into the incident are completed.
In many states, law enforcement footage, such as videos shot from the dashboard of police cars or police corps cameras, are considered public records, creating a defined and straightforward path to make it public.
But that’s not the case in North Carolina, which requires a judge’s order to allow the footage to be released.
District Attorney Andrew Womble objected to the video’s immediate release, simply supporting a private screening of Brown’s family, arguing the public release would hamper his ability to fairly investigate whether sheriff’s deputies were warranted to use deadly force.
During the hearing into the potential release of a police video, Womble said Brown’s car could be seen in footage moving back and forth and then forward, each time in contact with officers.
“As he is saved, he comes into contact with law enforcement officers,” Womble said. “At this point, the car is stationary. There is no movement and the officers are positioned around the car. The next movement of the car is forward, it is in the direction of the police and makes contact with the police. It is then and only then that you hear gunshots.