The body camera footage from the shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. has finally been released. The video clearly shows that Brown was driving away from Pasquotank County deputies when they opened fire. Despite this Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble is calling the shooting justified and Sheriff Tommy Wooten has vowed that he will reinstate the deputies.
You can watch the body camera footage for yourself in the video embedded below this article. To the credit of the deputies, there is a brief moment where a reasonable person may not have been sure where Brown intended to drive. When they arrive he backs his vehicle up and drives slightly forward before making a hard left turn and driving away. The deputies were swarming the vehicle and most of them were in front of it when he turned left, but there were a couple of deputies on the left hand side of the vehicle. At that moment there was reasonable apprehension on their part that he might try to hit one of them, but Brown did not make any moves indicating that he would try to hit them. He simply did the best he could to drive away without hitting anyone. This justification defense used by DA Womble is typical of prosecutors whenever an officer argues that he thought his victim might do something. They say that Brown recklessly drove towards them, but the truth is that they recklessly opened fire on the vehicle before they could tell what he intended to do. Even after he was clearly driving away from them they kept shooting. This happens all the time and prosecutors defend it which is why people keep protesting. Other examples include cases in which armed suspects are shot just because they don't comply with requests to drop their weapon. Usually such people don't point their guns towards the cops, but the cops shoot them anyway and say they thought they were going to point the gun at them. Those shooting are just as unjustified as this one. The fact that the sheriff plans to reinstate and retrain the deputies is an admission that they did not do the right thing. Hopefully it can be used by the Brown family to argue in court that failure to train was the driving force behind this murder and therefore the county is liable for wrongful death.
We already wrote an article detailing who the killers are (https://copblaster.com/blast/35517/names-of-pasquotank-county-deputies-that-killed-andrew-brown-jr). They are deputies Daniel Ryan Meads, Robert Dwayne Morgan, and Aaron Scott Lewellyn. We also covered the disrespectful attitude of Pasquotank County Attorney Richard Michael Cox (https://copblaster.com/blast/35513/pasquotank-county-attorney-richard-michael-cox-will-be-bullied).