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Prosecutor says deputies' fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. was 'justified'

A demonstrator protesting the police killing of Andrew Brown Jr. raise their hands in front of a police line Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in downtown Elizabeth City. At least six protesters were arrested when police in riot gear marched toward roughly a dozen protesters two hours past curfew. Protesters were peaceful but refused to clear the streets. Photo courtesy of Travis Long/News & Observer/TNS
Buy Photos A demonstrator protesting the police killing of Andrew Brown Jr. raise their hands in front of a police line Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in downtown Elizabeth City. At least six protesters were arrested when police in riot gear marched toward roughly a dozen protesters two hours past curfew. Protesters were peaceful but refused to clear the streets. Photo courtesy of Travis Long/News & Observer/TNS

North Carolina District Attorney Andrew Womble said in a press conference Tuesday deputies were "justified" in the fatal April shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. and will not be charged.

He said the deputies acted “reasonably” and that Brown's actions led them to believe it necessary to use force. Womble said Brown ignored police instructions to stop his car, and he drove directly toward an officer, which created an "apparent" threat toward the officers. 

However, Womble said no deputies were injured. 

Fourteen shots were resultantly fired at Brown's car in the attempt to carry out an arrest warrant by three officers, he said, which ultimately caused Brown's death. Brown was shot in the shoulder and the head, Womble said.

The parts of the video footage given to Brown's family were shown to journalists, Womble said. This footage showed that the encounter between Brown and the deputies lasted a total of 44 seconds.

Womble said the family was not told about the finding prior to the press conference.

The attorney representing Brown’s family, Bakari Sellers, said in an interview with CNN that Womble did not explain the shot in the back of Brown’s head, and the video Womble showed did not show Brown using his car as a weapon.

Sellers said the family will be starting a petition to obtain the footage in its entirety.

Brown’s death is being investigated by the FBI and the N.C. Bureau of Investigation.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

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