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BY Francis Akhalbey, 9:00am June 08, 2022,

Andrew Brown Jr: $3M settlement reached with family of Black man fatally shot by police

Pasquotank County has agreed to pay $3 million to the family of Andrew Brown Jr. -- Photo Credit: Ben Crump Law / via Reuters

Pasquotank County has agreed to pay $3 million to the family of Andrew Brown Jr. to settle a lawsuit that was filed after he was fatally shot by North Carolina deputies, a lawyer for the family, Bakari Sellers, confirmed, per CNN.

As reported by Face2Face Africa, Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed Brown, 42, outside his house on April 21 last year in Elizabeth City as they attempted to arrest him on suspicion of selling illegal drugs. According to witnesses, police shot Brown as he was driving away from officers.

Brown’s shooting death sparked protests as people demanded transparency from law enforcement officials. Responding to the settlement at a news conference, attorneys for Brown’s estate said his family is “satisfied” with the outcome of the case.

“This case was not about finance but about family,” attorney Harry Daniels said. “This settlement will do exactly what we intended to do and take care of Andrew Brown Jr’s children for years to come. There’s no amount of money that can recover or take place the loss that the family is experiencing and will continue to experience for years to come.”

Brown is survived by seven children. 

Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten did not answer many questions at the news conference because a federal investigation into Brown’s killing is yet to be completed. Wooten, however, said the county has implemented changes including advanced training for deputies and the setting up of a citizens’ advisory council, CNN reported. The changes were made in the wake of Brown’s shooting death.

Wooten explained that the advisory council will “look like the community we serve.”

“We train every day. It’s no secret to nobody in today’s society, law enforcement was not what was 20 years ago,” he said. “We have had more advance training to capitalize on de-escalation techniques.”

Following Brown’s death, Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble said the deputies who shot and killed him were justified in their actions and would not face criminal charges. Womble said after concluding his investigation, he found that the killing was justified because Brown endangered the lives of the deputies by “recklessly” driving toward them.

But responding to the decision at the time, lawyers representing Brown’s family said Womble tried to “whitewash” the killing. “To say this shooting was justified, despite the known facts, is both an insult and a slap in the face to Andrew’s family, the Elizabeth City community, and to rational people everywhere,” Ben Crump, Bakari Sellers, Harry Daniels and Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said in a statement.

“Not only was the car moving away from officers, but four of them did not fire their weapons – clearly they did not feel that their lives were endangered. And the bottom line is that Andrew was killed by a shot to the back of the head. Interestingly, none of these issues were appropriately addressed in today’s press conference.”

Some of the deputies who were at the scene captured much of the encounter on their body-worn cameras. But the release of the footage was restricted because of a North Carolina law that stipulates that a court order must be obtained for such videos to be made public. Womble showed body-worn camera footage of the encounter almost a month after Brown’s killing. 

Seven deputies responded to the scene. And three of them fired 14 shots at Brown’s vehicle, CNN reported. Brown was killed by a bullet that struck him at the back of the head.

The three deputies who fired at Brown were put on administrative leave. But Wooten later said they will be reinstated and retrained.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 8, 2022


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