Estate of Andrew Brown Jr., who was fatally shot by North Carolina deputies last year, reaches $3 million settlement with county

Brown’s family settled with Pasquotank County for $3 million, according to attorney Bakari Sellers, who represents the family and is also a CNN political analyst. CNN reached out to the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office for comment on the settlement.

Brown, a 42-year-old Black man, was killed April 21, 2021, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, by Pasquotank County deputies attempting to serve a warrant for his arrest. His death resulted in protests against the shooting as critics accused police of a lack of transparency.
Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble later concluded the shooting — which Brown’s family described as an execution — was justified, saying Brown “recklessly” drove at the officers on the scene while trying to flee arrest.
Much of the attempted arrest was captured on body cameras worn by some of the deputies involved, however North Carolina law restricted its release without a court order. In a press conference nearly a month after Brown’s death, Womble showed videos captured by deputies.
Three of the seven deputies on scene fired a total of 14 shots at Brown, according to Womble. A state autopsy later confirmed Brown died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head.

“While the district attorney concluded that no criminal law was violated, this was a terrible and tragic outcome, and we could do better,” Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten said, adding that two deputies did not turn on their body cameras during the incident.

The three deputies who fired at Brown would be reinstated and retrained, Wooten said at the time. One of them has since retired and the other two were back on the force.

Brown’s family and their attorneys said the same body-camera and dash-camera videos show Brown was trying to drive away from officers and was not a threat.

Attorneys for Brown’s estate filed a $30 million civil rights lawsuit in July, claiming deputies violated Brown’s Fourth Amendment rights by using excessive force.
An amended complaint further alleged the arrest warrant for Brown was unlawful because it was not signed by a judge. The suit also said the two ranking officers initially on the scene when Brown was confronted told investigators that they did not fire their weapons because they did not see any indication that Brown had a weapon. One of them told investigators he did not think Brown’s car was going to hit him, the lawsuit said.
The FBI has announced a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting.

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