A North Carolina judge on Wednesday refused to publicly release bodycam footage of the police shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr.
Judge Jeffrey Foster said after hearing arguments from lawyers for various media companies in an Elizabeth City courtroom that the companies do not have standing to request the release, and that the videos represent material “of a highly sensitive nature.”
Brown’s family viewed a redacted version of the footage Monday morning — but it was only a 20-second clip of the fatal police shooting in Elizabeth City.
The deadly encounter unfolded Wednesday when Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies who were serving a warrant on Brown, 42, opened fire as he drove away.
Elizabeth City officials declared a state of emergency in anticipation of protests over the video.
A witness said Brown’s car skidded out of his yard in Elizabeth City, about 170 miles northeast of Raleigh, and crashed into a tree after deputies opened fire.
“When they opened the door, he was already dead,” neighbor Demetria Williams said.
Sheriff Tommy Wooten said his officers were attempting to serve Brown, a dad of seven, with drug-related search and arrest warrants, using information from an informant including on drug purchases, USA Today reported, citing court documents.
Brown was not armed at the time, according to the family’s attorney.
Seven deputies were placed on administrative leave. Three have since resigned, but the sheriff’s office said their resignations were not related to the shooting.
Brown’s death came a day after ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty in the murder of George Floyd last year.