ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — Protesters in Elizabeth City completed their sixth day of marches Monday, demanding the release of the video camera footage of the law enforcement killing of Andrew Brown Jr.
The protests came several hours after Brown’s family was allowed to review the body camera footage of the April 21 shooting in private. They said they only were able to view about 20 seconds of video. Some of it was redacted.
Protesters are calling for transparency about the incident and what led up to Brown’s death.
“We want justice,” the Rev. Curtis Gatewood said. “There is no justice without transparency.”
Gatewood said there were multiple law enforcement officials with body cameras at the scene, and other video footage possibly available from other sources in the area, and therefore it was unacceptable to only release 20 seconds of footage to the family.
After noontime Monday, protesters shut down the bridge over the Pasquotank River between Elizabeth City and Camden County. An hour later, the Camden County Sheriff’s Office said the bridge had reopened to traffic.
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After protesters took a break after demonstrating most of the day Monday, they regrouped and continued demonstrating by 6 p.m.
Demonstrators said Monday night they were aiming to “disrupt commerce.” At times, protesters numbered about 300.
Many said the edited video shown to the family is evidence that “this is a cover-up.”
One woman, an Elizabeth City native, said she believed Brown would still be alive if it had been Elizabeth City police executing the search warrant.
Elizabeth City police warned people to expect delays and road closures in the area as they diverted traffic and escorted demonstrators during the protests. By 8:30 p.m., cars had joined behind the protest and started blaring their horns on Main Street.
By 9 p.m., they had shut down the bridge into Camden County for the second time of the day.
Demonstrators also went down Persse Street to the home of County Attorney Michael Cox. Some are calling for Cox — who is appointed by the Board of Commissioners — to resign.
WAVY News 10’s Brett Hall reported there was an energetic atmosphere during the protest. Multiple times, there were constructive announcements made that those who wanted to derail the movement or cause chaos should be turned over to Elizabeth City police.
Protesters dispersed by 10:30 p.m., with plans to reconvene Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, both Elizabeth City and Pasquotank County declared a state of emergency ahead of the release of the camera footage of the law enforcement killing of Andrew Brown Jr. last week.
The order went into effect at 8 a.m. and will continue indefinitely. City offices are closed and local schools are doing remote learning until the end of the week.
Elizabeth City State University is also learning remotely for the remainder of the semester. The school urged students to leave campus as soon as possible. Residence halls close at noon on Tuesday, April 27.
Brown was shot and killed by deputies last week during the execution of a search warrant. Witnesses said he was driving away at the time.
Brown’s family was expected to view the footage Monday morning, but that was delayed. They later held a press conference after viewing the footage Monday afternoon, saying there was only about 20 seconds they were allowed to see.
“We hope this occurs today, but the actual time will be driven by the completion of the redactions, ” said Pasquotank County Attorney R. Michael Cox. However, attorneys for the Brown family are demanding the footage be released unredacted.
This is breaking news and will be updated.