Something in the water ain’t clean…
Andrew Brown Jr. was killed for no reason by police officers in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. There is body camera footage of the entire incident but for some reason, neither the Pasquotank County Attorney Michael Cox nor Judge Jeff Foster of Pitt County Superior Court wants the public to see the video evidence.
According to the New York Times, Judge Foster has “delayed” the release of the video citing fears that it could compromise the investigation into Brown’s shooting death. To that, we say, “bulls#!t”. Hundreds if not thousands of police officers have been investigated for shooting unarmed Black folks and the video footage of such incidents is quite frequently released in order to give the public full transparency, especially under the current climate. The idea that an investigation will somehow be compromised by simply allowing the truth to be seen is suspect to say the very least.
There are some conflicting stories about what exactly happened when Andrew Brown Jr. was gunned down. As we reported previously, attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter watched the 20-second clip that the Brown family was allowed to see. She says that officers got out of their car and began shooting almost immediately as if the unarmed Brown somehow posed a threat to them. She says the video shows no such threat and Andrew Brown’s hands were on the steering wheel of his vehicle the entire time. District Attorney R. Andrew Womble says that the video shows Brown’s car striking officers before they opened fire.
Releasing the video to the public would make it very easy to see whose version of the story is accurate. Instead, the judge would rather continue to raise suspicions and make the situation infinitely worse by withholding information. Protests will continue and hostility will continue to boil over.
Judge Foster also ruled that the family will be allowed to see more redacted footage of the shooting from four body cameras and one dashboard camera within 10 days. Again, dragging things out unnecessarily.
Our eyes are tightly fixed on this story and will continue to be until transparency and justice are served properly.