US judge refuses public release of Andrew Brown Jr. shooting death videos, but allows disclosure to family
A North Carolina judge has denied requests for the public release of officer body cam footage showing the police shooting death of black man Andrew Brown Jr., although the ruling says his family may view the videos.
Brown, 42, was shot dead by police in Elizabeth City last week. His death was caused by a shot to the back of the head, according to lawyers for his family, who carried out an independent autopsy.
At the hearing on Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Jeff Foster rejected petitions for the immediate release of four videos filed by 20 media outlets and Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten.Also on rt.com Andrew Brown shot dead by 'kill shot to back of head' while fleeing police, attorney says as release of body-cam clip looms
District Attorney Andrew Womble argued that releasing the footage now could interfere with an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation into the shooting.
Womble said the footage shows that Brown twice rammed his car into Pasquotank County police officers as they attempted to execute a search warrant in Elizabeth City on April 21.
There are five body camera videos and one dashcam video of the incident, which must be blurred to protect officers' identities and shown to Brown's family and their legal team within 10 days, Judge Foster said on Wednesday.Also on rt.com North Carolina mayor declares state of emergency in preparation for release of footage showing police shooting of Andrew Brown
Brown's relatives complained on Tuesday that they were only shown an edited 20-second clip of his death, which showed his hands were on the steering wheel, with shots being fired as the footage began.
On Tuesday, the FBI announced that its Charlotte Field Office had opened a federal civil rights investigation into Brown's death.
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