The North Carolina city where a black man was fatally shot by officers during the execution of a search warrant Wednesday is under a state of emergency ahead of the release of bodycam footage, authorities announced.
Elizabeth City was put into a state of emergency Monday as the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s office is expected to release the bodycam footage showing the fatal police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr.
“It is also our understanding that numerous news media outlets have taken steps to secure a court order directing the Sheriff’s office to release those tapes,” the city said in a statement.
“City officials realize there may potentially be a period of civil unrest within the City following the public release of that footage.”
The state of emergency went into effect at 8:00 a.m. and will remain in effect until the city deems it “no longer necessary to protect our citizens from any such threat to their safety.”
The Elizabeth County Pasquotank Public Schools said the district will “operate on a full remote schedule for all students and staff through April 30, 2021.”
Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II said on Saturday he would file a motion in court as early as Monday to ask a local judge to release the video.
“Only a judge can release the video. That’s why I’ve asked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to confirm for me that the releasing of the video will not undermine their investigation,” Wooten said. “Once I get that confirmation, our county will file a motion in court, hopefully, Monday, to have the footage released.”
Brown’s family will review the footage Monday before its public release, according to WAVY 10. (RELATED: ‘I Don’t Want To Shoot You’: Video Shows Police Officer Fatally Shooting Man Who Charged At Him With Two Butcher Knives)
Representatives for Brown’s family said the family was viewing the footage around noon Monday, according to WAVY 10 reporter Lex Gray.
“We’re going to destroy this system and we’re going to reimagine what it should be,” the family representatives reportedly said Monday.
“We’re going to destroy this system and we’re going to reimagine what it should be.” – representatives for the family of Andrew Brown, Jr. speak in Elizabeth City. The family is currently viewing the body camera video of his death at the hands of a sheriff’s deputy. @WAVY_News
— Lex Gray (@LexGrayWAVY) April 26, 2021
Brown’s family claims the delay in viewing the footage was because authorities wanted to redact portions of the video, according to WAVY 10.
An attorney for Brown’s family said the delay was “indicative” of a broken system during an interview with WAVY 10. Authorities allegedly said they were redacting the faces of responding law enforcement, according to WAVY 10.
The shooting happened around 8:30 a.m. in the 400 block of Perry Street when deputies served a search warrant, according to the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s office.
#BREAKING: We’re looking into a fatal deputy-involved shooting this morning in Elizabeth City.
— Dan Kennedy 13News Now (@13DanKennedy) April 21, 2021
Witnesses reportedly said Brown entered his car and attempted to drive away from authorities, according to WAVY 10. A deputy then fired several shots, with neighbors reportedly hearing about six to eight shots.