In a Facebook video posted Saturday afternoon in Pasquotank County, NC, Sheriff Tommy Wooten II said his office wanted the footage from the body camera the assassination of Andrew Brown Jr. be made public.
His testimony comes three days after Andrew Brown Jr., a 42-year-old black man, was shot dead by MPs for the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office in Elizabeth City. The events were captured by the MPs’ body cameras.
“I have asked the State Bureau of Investigation to confirm that posting the video will not undermine their investigation,” said Wooten. “As soon as I have received this confirmation, our county will hopefully file an application in court on Monday to have the footage published.”
In the Facebook video, Pasquotank deputy chief Daniel Fogg said his office had asked the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association to appoint an outside sheriff’s office to conduct an investigation into everyone involved in the incident.
Local NAACP President calls for the county sheriff’s resignation
At a media event on Saturday afternoon on the mountain. The AME Zion Church in Lebanon in Elizabeth City, Rev. William Barber, spoke with the family of Andrew Brown Jr., activists, clergymen, and members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People about the events surrounding Brown’s assassination.
“An arrest warrant is not a license to kill,” said Barber when repeatedly calling for the body camera footage to be released.
Pasquotank local NAACP president Keith Rivers said his group is calling for “the resignation of Pasquotank Sheriff Wooten.”
The Rivers statement came minutes before Wooten posted the Facebook video supporting the release of body camera footage. Wooten has not addressed the media or local residents personally since Brown was assassinated.
Elizabeth City Mayor wants to change NC body cameras law
On Saturday morning, Elizabeth City Mayor Bettie Parker made it clear that she would like to see a major change in the processing and release of footage by police bodies in North Carolina.
When they stood outside City Hall on Saturday, Elizabeth City officials stressed that they had not yet seen the footage or had no access to it.
North Carolina law generally requires a judge to sign off the release of footage from law enforcement cameras. Elizabeth City leaders have called for the footage to be released and a coalition of media has petitioned the court to make it public. Governor Roy Cooper has also issued a statement calling for the footage to be released quickly.
When asked by WUNC what change it would like to see, Parker replied, “The law.”
Parker said the city council filed a request with the county sheriff’s office for the footage to be released. If denied, the application would go to the prosecutor and eventually to a court of law.
“That doesn’t make any sense. We’ll have to wait forever to get the body camera. Twenty-four to forty-eight hours is enough. So let’s change that,” said Parker. “I want that to change as soon as possible.”
“We want transparency and accountability. This is important if our citizens want to trust elected officials and those in law enforcement.” – Mayor Parker #AndrewBrownJr
– Laura WFH Pellicer @ (@LauraPLive) April 24, 2021
Parker said the city’s attorney told city officials “that we most likely won’t get it”.
At the press conference, city officials stressed that they wanted to see transparency and accountability in the events surrounding Brown’s death.
City police chief Eddie Buffaloe said the city police were not involved in the arrest warrants for Brown or the events related to the delivery of the warrants.