Lewis Kendall in Elizabeth City reports:
Raising signs, flags and fists, about 200 protesters walked through the streets of Elizabeth City in North Carolina on Wednesday night following a judge’s ruling, which denied the immediate release of police video footage of the killing of Andrew Brown last week.
The evening’s march wound its way through the flat streets of the majority Black city of roughly 18,000 in the state’s coastal plain near the Outer Banks.
The crowd blocked off several intersections, chanting “release the tape” and “20 seconds, not enough,” in reference to the short clip of body-camera footage that Brown’s family have been permitted to see.
“You’re just making it worse by not being transparent,” said Dustin Sidebottom, 50, an Elizabeth City resident who had been arrested protesting on Tuesday but was back on Wednesday, waving a large Black Lives Matter flag.
Sidebottom said officials’ handling of the Brown case had created a breach of trust that will be extremely difficult to repair.
“No matter what he did, he did not deserve to die,” he added.
Brown, a 42-year-old father of seven, was killed as Pasquotank county police attempted to serve search-and-arrest warrants on 21 April, one day after a former Minneapolis police officer was convicted of the murder of George Floyd, and on the heels of several other recent police killings, including the shooting deaths of Adam Toledo, 13, in Chicago and Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, in Columbus, Ohio.
Through a separate proceeding earlier this week, Brown’s family and lawyers viewed a 20-second clip of body-camera footage, which they said showed officers firing at Brown’s car as he drove away. The family also released the results of a private autopsy, which determined Brown was killed by a gunshot wound to the back of his head.