The North Carolina city where Andrew Brown Jr. was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies last week announced Friday it will push its curfew back by several hours each night after a week of generally peaceful protests.
Officials in Elizabeth City said that starting Friday night, the curfew will run from midnight until 6 a.m. On previous nights, the curfew had taken effect at 8 p.m.
Protesters have been demanding justice and transparency, including the release of deputy body camera footage, after Brown, a Black man, was shot and killed last week.
Brown was fatally shot on April 21 by deputies serving drug-related search and arrest warrants at his house in the town of Elizabeth City, about 160 miles northeast of Raleigh. On Tuesday, Brown’s family released an independent autopsy showing he was shot five times, including in the back of the head. The state’s autopsy has not been released yet.
Protesters march April 26, 2021, the evening after family members were shown body camera footage of a deputy sheriff shooting and killing Black suspect Andrew Brown Jr. last week in Elizabeth City, N.C. (REUTERS/Jonathan Drake)(REUTERS)
A motorist joins other protesters marching in the evening after family members were shown body camera footage of a deputy sheriff shooting and killing Black suspect Andrew Brown Jr. last week, in Elizabeth City, N.C., April 26, 2021. (REUTERS/Jonathan Drake)(REUTERS)
A protester leads others in chants while pointing at officers atop the county sheriff’s building after family members were shown body camera footage of a deputy Sheriff shooting and killing Black suspect Andrew Brown Jr. last week, in Elizabeth City, N.C., April 26, 2021. (REUTERS/Jonathan Drake)(REUTERS)
Protests have been generally peaceful, but some protesters have been arrested after they remained on the streets after the curfew went into effect.
WITN-TV reported that Thursday night’s protest had largely dwindled by 10:45 p.m., but at least two people were arrested. The television station was also among multiple media outlets that said staff members covering the protest were threatened with arrest despite city and county leaders saying journalists doing their jobs were exempt from the curfew.
A judge earlier this week refused to make deputy body camera footage public despite formal requests from a media coalition and the sheriff. He said it should be kept from public view for at least another month while a state investigation into the shooting takes place.
Lawyers release findings from an independent autopsy commissioned by Brown family attorneys. (AP/Brown Family)
Judge Jeff Foster did, however, order authorities to allow Brown’s family to privately view five videos from body cameras and one from a dashboard camera within 10 days, with some portions blurred or redacted. Family members had previously been allowed to view only a 20-second clip from a single body camera.
Foster said he would consider releasing the video after that point if investigations are complete.
In arguing against the public release of the video, District Attorney Andrew Womble told the judge that he disagreed with a characterization by an attorney for Brown’s family that Brown did not try to drive away until deputies opened fire.
Womble said the video shows that Brown’s car made “contact” with law enforcement twice before shots could be heard on the video. He said officers shouted commands and tried to open a car door before any shots were fired.
The State Bureau of Investigation began a probe of the shooting shortly after it happened. It has said that it would turn its findings over to Womble, as is standard under state laws and procedures.
The FBI has also launched a civil rights investigation of Brown’s death.
Brown’s funeral is scheduled for Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.