The family of Andrew Brown Jr, a black unarmed man who was shot and killed by a North Carolina police officer back in April, filed a federal lawsuit against a North Carolina sheriff’s department and deputy who shot him in the head.
The police officer in North Carolina shot and killed Brown Jr. while serving a search warrant Wednesday, April 21, sparking outcry from community members demanding law enforcement accountability and the immediate release of body camera footage.
The shooting occurred a day after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd, another black unarmed man. Chauvin is currently serving 22 years in prison.
This week, Civil rights attorneys announced they have filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Andrew Brown Jr.’family against a North Carolina sheriff’s department and deputies who shot him in the head as he drove away from them.
The lawsuit seeks $30 million in damages, said attorneys for Brown’s family. It also seeks the release of body camera footage and audio files of the shooting that haven’t been made public. The suit names the deputies who were at the scene of the shooting, as well as Sheriffs Tommy Wooten and Doug Doughtie, as defendants.
“For Black folk in this country, justice is a verb,” said family attorney Bakari Sellers at a news conference. “And this is that first step in action.”
Sellers said the lawsuit is in honor of Brown’s seven children, who are without a father, and his grandson, whom Brown was unable to meet before he died. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is also part of the legal team representing Brown’s family.
“We stand in front of this federal courthouse because this is where we believe Andrew Brown will finally be able to get justice,” Sellers said.
Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office deputies shot Brown, 42, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, in April while serving an arrest warrant. He was killed by a gunshot wound to the back of the head, a state autopsy found.
The lawsuit includes claims of wrongful death, battery and assault. It alleges Brown died by “unlawful and deadly force” as a result of the deputies’ “intentional and reckless disregard of his life and safety.”