The 20-second bodycam footage of Andrew Brown Jr.’s fatal shooting was shown to his family on Monday. The heavily redacted video of the tragic incident was demanded by protestors last week, and Brown’s family finally got a chance to see it after a series of delays.
Andrew Brown Jr. was attempting to flee an arrest when law enforcement officers opened fire on his vehicle. Brown’s is the latest police killing of a minority that continues to feed the massive, country-wide protests – several high-profile incidents occurred last week. Despite the demand for bodycam footage, the North Carolina district attorney explained that the footage could not be released.
Brown’s family, along with political activists, expects answers from the bodycam footage. “To my understanding, there is body camera footage to this incident, and it has not been released,” Harry Daniels, the Brown family’s attorney explained. “A lot of speculation is going on – we’re asking for answers, accountability, and transparency.”
The footage was supposed to be released to the Brown family on Monday, but its reveal was delayed due to police redacting certain aspects of the video. “Show the tape,” Daniels said Monday. “If you ain’t got nothing to hide, show the tape.”
Michael Cox, the Pasquotank County Attorney explained that the process of blurring some faces on the video was still in progress. “The law also allows us to blur some faces on the video and that process takes time,” he said. “This may be done when necessary to protect an active internal investigation. As soon as these redactions are complete, we will allow the family to view this footage.”
The family was finally shown the 20-second snippet of Brown’s untimely death, but no official statements have been made regarding what the family saw. The public must wait for a court order to see the footage for themselves, according to North Carolina law. There are currently plans to file a motion in court to have the footage released, but when is still unknown.
As the video’s imminent release nears, Elizabeth City is taking precautions. The city’s emergency proclamation confirmed that city officials will file a formal request to release the video to the public, and as “it seems likely that the video and audio footage will be released in the very near future,” Elizabeth City declared a state of emergency Monday, “in order to ensure the safety of our citizens and their property.”
The emergency proclamation explained that “city officials realize there may be a potential period of unrest within the City following the public release of the footage.”
Movements continue to spread across the country as incidents of police brutality seem to increase. For most, transparency is the most important aspect – looking for answers in the bodycam footage as to why police act in ways that seem unnecessarily violent towards minority groups.
Speaking on the Andrew Brown Jr. incident, Pasquotank County NAACP President, Keith Rivers attests that the major issue is transparency. “If you can release the video footage on Monday or if you can petition the courts to release it on Monday, as you said in your video, you could have done it three or four days ago,” he said, “Which would have created the transparency that you continue to say that you are displaying but, we have not yet seen it. It only seems like the more people that get involved in — the more people that are standing for justice — the more you’re saying let’s do this.”
Brown’s killing occurred just one day after Nickolas Reardon fatally shot a 16-year-old girl. The United States continues to divide as Americans take sides in the police brutality argument, some claiming the force is justified and others condemning law enforcement.