$30M federal lawsuit filed in Andrew Brown Jr. case

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Wednesday, July 14, 2021
$30M federal lawsuit filed in Andrew Brown Jr. case
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Attorneys for the family of Andrew Brown Jr. have filed a $30 million federal civil lawsuit in his death.

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Attorneys for the family of Andrew Brown Jr. have filed a $30 million federal civil lawsuit in his death.

The attorneys joined with members of Brown's family Wednesday to explain that the lawsuit was their next step in getting justice for Brown.

"Justice is upon us. Justice delayed will not be justice denied," attorney Harry Daniels said.

Brown is the man who was shot and killed by Pasquotank County deputies during a 44-second interaction on April 21.

District attorney Andrew Womble declined to file criminal charges against the officers in the case. Brown's supporters said the civil case is the only avenue remaining to get justice for the killing of Brown.

"I want everyone watching to understand that for Black folk in this country justice is a verb. This is the first step in acting upon--this is that first step in action," attorney Bakari Sellers said.

"This lawsuit is a loud resounding gong to let this community know--and everyone across this nation--that an elected district attorney...is not allowed to get in front of a camera, misinterpret the law, and not hold murderers accountable pursuant to the applicable law in his own district," attorney Chance Lynch said.

What happened April 21

Deputies arrived to serve a warrant on Brown which was related to an undercover drug investigation. The deputies pointed weapons at Brown and started shouting commands for him to surrender as soon as they jumped out of the back of a sheriff's office truck.

WARNING: The contents of this video may be disturbing.

Brown first backed his vehicle away from the deputies. Appearing to run out of room to reverse, he puts the vehicle in drive and proceeds forward while turning left into an opening in the group of deputies surrounding his vehicle.

Local district attorney Andrew Womble said Brown's vehicle hit one of the deputies twice during the encounter. Although neither that deputy nor any others reported any injuries.

During the 44 seconds between the deputies jumping out of the truck and Brown driving off and crashing into a tree, the deputies fired 14 shots at Brown, who did not have a weapon in his car.

The state's official autopsy found Brown was killed by a shot to the back of his head. He was hit one other time in the right shoulder. Multiple other bullet holes were found throughout Brown's vehicle.

Womble declined to file any charges against the deputies, saying "Mr. Brown's death, while tragic, was justified, because Mr. Brown's actions caused three deputies with the Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others."

Two deputies involved in the shooting have returned to work for Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office. One other deputy involved resigned from the force.