Update 3:15 p.m.: Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten released the names of the seven deputies involved in the death of Andrew Brown Thursday.
They are Steven Judd, Michael Swindell, Kenneth Bishop, Joel Lunsford, Daniel Meads, Robert Morgan and Aaron Lewellyn. Only the three deputies who reportedly fired at Brown — Meads, Morgan and Lewellyn — remain on administrative leave.
“More investigation is necessary into the three deputies who did fire their weapons, and they will remain on administrative leave pending completion of the internal investigation and/or the criminal investigation being conducted by the State Bureau of Investigation," Wooten said in a press release.
A media petition to release body camera footage of the killing of Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City last week was denied at a hearing at the Pasquotank County Courthouse Wednesday.
On April 21 at 8:30 a.m., Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies killed Brown while serving a search and arrest warrant. An independent autopsy shows he died from a gunshot wound in the back of his head.
Twenty media organizations, including The Daily Tar Heel, The New York Times, The Associated Press and The Daily Advance, petitioned for the release of the body camera footage from officers at the scene.
The petition was denied. Judge Jeff Foster, a superior court judge from Greenville, delivered the decision.
Foster said at the hearing that the media is not a party for release under state law. Foster said even if the media was, the footage still would have not been released. The court ruled that release of the footage would have revealed “information regarding a person of a highly sensitive personal nature,” that ”may harm the reputation or jeopardize the safety of a person,” Foster said.
The court also found that the release would have created a “serious threat to fair, impartial and orderly administration of justice,” Foster said.
The footage will not be immediately released to Brown’s son, Khalil Ferebee, either.
Foster said four body camera videos will be disclosed to Ferebee and immediate family, as well as one attorney practicing law in the state of North Carolina, within 10 days. The Pasquotank Sheriff’s Office is ordered to blur or redact facial features and any identifying information in the footage.
Foster said the video will be held from release for a period of no less than 30 and no more than 45 days from now “to allow completion for any investigation.” He said further release of video will be considered after this period of time.
Brown’s death is being investigated by the FBI and the N.C. Bureau of Investigation.
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