North Carolina residents are demanding answers after the police killing of a 40-year-old Black man.
According to the Associated Press, the incident occurred at around 8:30 a.m. local time Wednesday in Elizabeth City, where deputies were carrying out a search warrant on Andrew Brown Jr. The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that one of its deputies shot and killed Brown while executing the warrant, but kept other details to a minimum. There’s currently no word on why the search warrant was issued in the first place, and the officer who fired the shots has not been identified.
Keith Rivers, president of the Pasquotank County NAACP chapter, blasted the sheriff’s office for its lack of transparency and failing to release details to the public. Rivers noted that the tragedy took place less than a day after former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty in the murder of George Floyd.
“When is it going to stop? We just got a verdict yesterday,” Rivers told the AP. “Is it open season now? At some point, it has to stop. We have to start holding the people in charge accountable … If the body cameras were on that information needs to be disseminated as quickly as possible in order to make sure justice is served.”
Witnesses told WBKN that Brown had gotten into his car and began driving away as authorities conducted the search; moments later, the deputy fired six to eight shots as Brown was still in his car. The victim’s family told the outlet the father of 10 did not carry a gun.
County officials said the involved deputy has been placed on leave pending the results of an investigation. The State Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the case and will submit its findings to District Attorney Andrew Womble.
“What we are looking for at this time will be accurate answers and not fast answers,” Womble told reporters Wednesday. “We’re going to wait for the full and complete investigation … and we’ll review that and make any determinations that we deem appropriate at that time. This will not be a rush to judgment.”