Civil rights attorneys announced Wednesday they filed a federal lawsuit against a North Carolina sheriff’s department and deputies who shot Andrew Brown Jr. in the head as he drove away from them.
The lawsuit seeks $30 million in damages, said attorneys for Brown’s family. It also seeks the release of body camera footage and audio files of the shooting that haven’t been made public. The suit names the deputies who were at the scene of the shooting, as well as Sheriffs Tommy Wooten and Doug Doughtie, as defendants.
“For Black folk in this country, justice is a verb,” said family attorney Bakari Sellers at a news conference Wednesday. “And this is that first step in action.”
Sellers said the lawsuit is in honor of Brown’s seven children, who are without a father, and his grandson, whom Brown was unable to meet before he died. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is also part of the legal team representing Brown’s family.
“We stand in front of this federal courthouse because this is where we believe Andrew Brown will finally be able to get justice,” Sellers said.
Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office deputies shot Brown, 42, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, in April while serving an arrest warrant. He was killed by a gunshot wound to the back of the head, a state autopsy found.
The lawsuit includes claims of wrongful death, battery and assault. It alleges Brown died by “unlawful and deadly force” as a result of the deputies’ “intentional and reckless disregard of his life and safety.”
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SOURCE: USA Today, Christine Fernando