Andrew Brown Jr. was killed last month while police officers were serving a drug-related search in Elizabeth City and undergoing arrest warrants.
On Tuesday a district attorney said that the sheriff’s deputies were justified in fatally shooting the black man, as Fox News reports.
During a news conference District Attorney Andrew Womble emphasized that the way Brown acted made the deputies believe that deadly force was needed. The black man reportedly ignored the officers’ commands to stop and started driving his car directly at one of the officers before they fired at him.
“Mr. Brown’s death, while tragic, was justified because Mr. Brown’s actions caused three deputies to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others,” he said, as reported by the news outlet.
No charges against the officers
Womble went on to say that there will not be any criminal charges filed against the deputies who were involved in the fatal shooting. The officials were trying to take Brown into custody.
According to Fox News, bodycam video of the confrontation between Brown and the law enforcement officers will not be released either. However, a few parts of the video were played during the news conference.
As stated by the prosecutor, those parts were given out only because playing them would not interfere with a criminal case since charges will not be pursued. However, any release of the full video would need a judge’s approval.
The victim’s family had access to the video
Authorities have shown the full video to Brown’s family, but a judge has refused to release it to the public while the investigation is pending.
“I find that the facts of this case clearly illustrate that the officers who used deadly force on Andrew Brown Jr. did so reasonably and only when a violent felon used a deadly weapon to put their lives in danger,” the prosecutor concluded.
The incident with tragic consequences in Elizabeth city sparked multiple protests from demonstrators demanding the public release of body camera footage.