ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — What happened here last week put Elizabeth City in the spotlight, and city leaders believe it could take years to recover.
“Unfortunately it happened here,” said Elizabeth City Mayor Bettie Parker.
What happened last week in Elizabeth City is something that is happening across the nation.
“When it happened, I don’t care how large the town is or how small the town is, you’re going to become the focus of the nation’s attention,” Parker added.
When Andrew Brown was shot and killed by Pasquotank County deputies, it put Elizabeth City on the map for all the wrong reasons.
“This is new to us all of us here in Elizabeth City and it’s horrific,” Parker said.
For more than a week, the community cried out for answers from the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office. Thursday, Sheriff Tommy Wooten announced four deputies who didn’t fire at Brown will be back on the job. Three others that did remain on leave. Feelings in the community are still at an all-time high.
“They murdered an innocent man by execution-style,” said Elizabeth City Councilman Michael Brooks.
Deputies were there to arrest Brown on drug charges. Wednesday, a judge denied releasing body camera footage to the public for 30 days.
“I want as much out as possible,” Parker added “Whether we like it or not, that’s the law and we have to follow the rule of the law. The judge has spoken.”
Parker is quick to point out that though this happened in the city all this controversy was caused by the county.
“Because the city is part of the county, then we get the notoriety and that’s unfortunate,” Parker said.
“It’s going to take years if not decades to get things behind us,” Brooks added. “It will be forever sketched in the memory banks of not only those that see it first hand, but the children that are coming up. It is going to be forever sketched in the history books.”
Protests are continuing Thursday night and curfew still in effect.
Brown’s funeral is on Monday.