A black man shot multiple times in an apparent ‘execution’ by cops last week was described by law enforcement as a drug dealer with a long rap sheet dating back to 1988, according to a report.
Andrew Brown Jr., 42, had a 180 page criminal record and had been filmed selling narcotics in the weeks leading up to his death last Wednesday, Fox News reported Monday.
Brown was shot and killed by Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies Wednesday morning. He was inside his car in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, when the officers were serving him an arrest warrant.
Brown’s family have described his death as an ‘execution’, saying he had his hands on the steering wheel of the car and was shot in the back of the head as up to eight deputies opened fire.
Calls are mounting for authorities to release the bodycam footage of the incident with his family finally granted their request to watch video of the incident Monday – only for them to reveal they were allowed to watch just 20 seconds of footage from just one of at least eight officers on the scene.
Seven deputies have been placed on administrative leave following the shooting, two others have resigned and one deputy has retired, but none of their identities have been released.
While law enforcement have released few details of the fatal shooting and questions continue to mount over the lack of transparency around their part in Brown’s death six days on from the shooting, the force instead released court documents Monday about the search warrant that brought them to Brown that day.
It’s a move that has sparked more outrage with the family’s attorney Ben Crump accusing authorities of protecting the officers while they ‘assassinate the character’ of Brown.
Brown’s death came just one day after white cop Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of black man George Floyd in a moment that many had hoped was a step forward in the fight against police brutality and systemic racism across America.
Andrew Brown Jr., 42, (pictured) – who was shot multiple times in an apparent ‘execution’ by cops last week – had a long rap sheet dating back to 1988, according to a report
According to the search warrant released Monday, investigators had recorded Brown selling small amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine to an informant.
The informant had told Agent R.D. Johnson of the Dare County Narcotics Task Force they had bought drugs including cocaine, ‘crack’ cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine from Brown several times over the course of more than a year, reads the warrant, seen by Fox.
The unidentified individual described Brown as a ‘drug dealer’ in the Elizabeth City/Pasquotank County area, the warrant reads.
It was requested by Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office Investigator D. Ryan Meads and was signed off by North Carolina Superior Court Senior Resident Judge Jerry R. Tillett on April 20 to allow the search of Brown’s home on Perry Street in Elizabeth County.
It said that an investigator in nearby Dare County was told by the informant that the person had been purchasing crack cocaine and other drugs from Brown for over a year.
The informant described purchasing drugs at the house that was the target of the search and claimed to have seen crack cocaine in the property in the 14 days leading up to Wednesday’s shooting.
They also claimed to have met Brown at other locations including hotels and motels and locations in Dare County to complete the exchange.
In one incident on March 17, narcotics officers used the informant to conduct a controlled purchases of cocaine from Brown that was recorded on camera and audio devices, according to the warrant.
Protesters march in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Monday night as officers are still to release bodycam of the footage six days after Brown’s death
Calls are mounting for authorities to release the bodycam footage of the incident with his family finally granted their request to watch video of the incident Monday – only for them to reveal they were allowed to watch just 20 seconds of footage
Hundreds of demonstrators, including Rev. Raymond Johnson, protested on Monday night
Later that month, on March 29, the informant was used to carry out a purchase of methamphetamine from Brown, the warrant says.
The search warrant says investigators believed Brown was storing, packaging and distributing drugs out of his home and two BMWs.
They believed Brown was using the home as a ‘secure location’ to store drugs, money and records of sales, it states,
Investigator Meads and other members of the drug task force were ‘familiar with Brown and know him to be a source of supply of ‘crack’ cocaine, cocaine, heroin/fentanyl and methamphetamine to the Elizabeth City/ Pasquotank County area,’ the warrant says.
Two arrest warrants released last week charged Brown with possession with intent to sell and deliver 3 grams of each of the drugs.
The court document, which indicated the search was not completed, did not list that anything had been found.
And Brown’s aunt Betty Banks said cops had told the family they did not find any drugs or weapons in neither his cars or home, reported CNN.
Andrew Brown, a 42-year-old father of 10, was shot in his car on April 21 by sheriffs
Brown was shot and killed by Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies Wednesday morning. He was inside his BMW (above) in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, when the officers were serving him an arrest warrant
Crump has argued that authorities have released the warrant information to ‘assassinate’ Brown’s character while they are refusing to release bodycam or the details of the officer-involved shooting.
‘Now, you all may have noticed that they released a warrant saying all kinds of things about Andrew Brown, but they want to redact the face of the… officers that killed Andrew Brown,’ he said.
He added that law officials blurring deputies’ faces are ‘going to protect them and not show their face and not say their names… because what they want to do is assassinate the character’ of Brown.
Pasquotank County Attorney Michael Cox showed Brown’s family and attorneys a 20-second clip from one deputy’s body camera Monday.
Attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said it showed an ‘execution’.
She said it shows deputies shot Brown as he sat with his hands on the steering wheel of his BMW.
The black man was shot in the back of the head, according to his death certificate.
‘They are trying to hide something,’ Crump said. ‘They don’t want us to see everything.’
Attorney Ben Crump holds the arm of Khalil Brown, who called his dad’s death an execution
Bodycam cover-up: Fifth night of unrest in North Carolina as protesters demand authorities release the full footage showing Andrew Brown shooting
Protesters took to the streets of Elizabeth City on Monday night for the fifth night, as anger mounted at the failure to release the full footage showing the killing of Andrew Brown.
Brown, 42, was shot and killed by police in Elizabeth City at 8:30am on April 21.
He was at the wheel of his car at the time; police have said they were carrying out an arrest warrant for drugs offenses, but his family have said he was ‘executed’.
On Monday night more than 200 people marched through downtown, carrying signs and shouting: ‘Release the tape! The real tape!’
Some reports suggested rocks were thrown, Fox News said, while others said it was eggs that were hurled.
Twice, The Raleigh News & Observer reported, they stopped to confront police officers who blocked traffic for them to pass, yelling: ‘Say his name! Say his name!’ before moving on.
Under North Carolina law, body camera footage can only be released with a court order, but critics are accusing the authorities of a cover up – suspicions that increased after the family were allowed to watch just 20 seconds of the fatal shooting on Monday.
A demonstrator yells in the air from her car on Monday night during Elizabeth City protests
Protesters in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, on Monday night demanded the release of footage
Activists were on the streets of Elizabeth City for the fifth night in a row on Monday
Two men fist bump amid smiles as they peacefully protest against Brown’s shooting
Ben Crump, the high-profile civil rights attorney who now represents the family, said outside the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office: ‘They are trying to hide something. They don’t want us to see.’
Attorneys for the family said he was shot in the back of his head and had his hands on the car steering wheel as up to eight officers fired at him.
Andrew Brown, 42, was shot and killed by sheriffs in North Carolina on Wednesday morning
They said the clip they saw began as shots were already being fired, adding that Brown complied with officer commands throughout.
After watching the footage, Brown’s son Khalil told reporters: ‘My dad got executed just trying to save his life. It is messed up how this happened. He got executed.’
Court documents released on Monday show deputies obtained the search warrant that brought them to Brown after investigators recorded him selling small amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine to an informant.
Seven deputies have been placed on leave amid indications, including emergency scanner traffic and an eyewitness account, that Brown was shot in the back as he tried to drive away.
The city’s mayor earlier had declared a state of emergency over the shooting.
County officials indicated that showing family the clip had been delayed because they were working on blurring some faces in the recording.
Andrew Brown’s grieving relatives are seen outside Pasquotank County Public Safety building
Andrew Brown’s youngest daughter (left) listens to attorney Benjamin Crump on Monday. Harry Daniels (right), who is representing the family of Andrew Brown, speaks outside the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office in Elizabeth City
Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, center left, joined the Brown family on Monday
Describing the footage in more detail on Monday afternoon, attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said Brown had been in his driveway when he was blocked in by officers who were in a marked police vehicle.
She said they ‘lost count’ on how many shots were fired.
She also said deputies ‘rode up to his car while shooting’.
When Brown ‘finally tries to get away to get out of danger’ he backs out, away from officers who were allegedly shouting obscenities at him.
The attorney added: ‘At no time was he threatening officers.’
When his car runs into a tree, Cherry-Lassiter said the officers continued shooting at him, leaving his vehicle ‘riddled with bullets’.
The family noted that despite multiple officers being at the scene they were allowed to see just one clip – from an officer who was farthest from the scene.
Gunfire already had started in the clip they were shown, they said, and it was unclear what had happened in the moments before the shooting.
Cherry-Lassiter, who watched the video multiple times and took notes, said some deputies were wearing tactical uniforms and some in plainclothes.
‘They’re shooting and saying let me see your hands at the same time,’ she said.
Crump confirmed that he would hold a press conference on Tuesday at 11am to discuss autopsy results.
‘It’s clear to us there is something bad on that bodycam video,’ he said.
‘Transparency is essential.’
Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II has said that multiple deputies fired shots.
Elizabeth City police were not involved in the shooting.
Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools are operating remotely until at least Friday ‘due to the continuously evolving state of civil unrest’.
Wooten has said ‘only a judge can release the video’, adding: ‘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.’
He said he hopes to file a motion for its release Monday.
Brown’s death spurred an outcry from community members who demanded law enforcement accountability and the immediate release of deputies’ body camera footage.
Chief Deputy Daniel Fogg (left) and Sheriff Tommy S. Wooten issued a video on Monday night
Protestors block an intersection after an emergency city council meeting on Friday evening
The arrest warrant released on Monday was obtained by the Pasquotank County sheriff’s office and signed by a local judge, to allow the search of Brown’s Elizabeth City home.
It said that an investigator in nearby Dare County was told by the informant that the person had been purchasing crack cocaine and other drugs for over a year from Brown.
The informant described purchasing drugs at the house that was the target of the search.
The warrant said that, in March, local narcotics officers used the informant to conduct controlled purchases of methamphetamine and cocaine from Brown on two separate occasions.
It says both drug transactions were recorded using audio and video equipment.
The search warrant said investigators believed Brown was storing drugs in the home or two vehicles.
The document, which indicated the search wasn’t completed, did not list anything found.
The arrest warrants, which were released last week, charged him with possession with intent to sell and deliver three grams of each of the drugs.
Racial justice advocates had joined Brown’s relatives on Saturday demanding the footage
On Saturday, Brown’s family was joined by the local clergy and civil rights leaders including the Rev. William Barber II in Elizabeth City as they put further pressure on officials to make the videos public.
Barber said at the news conference attended by several of Brown’s children and other family members: ‘America, here is the issue: A warrant is not a license to kill, even if a suspect supposedly drives away.
‘A warrant is not permission to shoot someone.
‘We’re sick and tired of all these deaths happening that don’t have to happen.
‘Release the tapes!’
Keith Rivers, president of the Pasquotank County branch of the NAACP, also spoke at the conference to call for Wooten’s resignation.
On Friday, the state’s governor, Roy Cooper, a Democrat, issued a statement calling for the swift release of the footage.
‘Initial reports of the shooting in Elizabeth City and death of Andrew Brown, Jr. this week are tragic and extremely concerning,’ Cooper tweeted.
‘The body camera footage should be made public as quickly as possible and the SBI should investigate thoroughly to ensure accountability.’
Police described Brown as someone who was well known to police, with a criminal history dating back to the 1990s, including past drug convictions.
Neighbor Demetria Williams, who witnessed part of the shooting, said she never saw Brown carry a gun, and that deputies fired into his car as he was trying to get away from them.
He crashed his car moments later, with Williams saying she saw Brown ‘slumped’ in his vehicle as he died of his gunshot wounds.