PASQUOTANK COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — A judge just heard arguments for the release of body camera footage in the Andrew Brown Jr. case, and is expected to make a ruling shortly.
At 11:30 a.m., the judge said he was going to his chambers and would return in “15 to 20 minutes” with a decision.
Attorneys are arguing for and against immediate release. Under North Carolina law, a judge has allow the footage to be released to the public.
Pasquotank District Attorney Andrew Womble has requested a 30-day delay in release of the bodycam footage. Brown was killed by law enforcement last week in Elizabeth City while they conducted a search warrant.
Womble claims video shows Andrew Brown Jr. hitting officers with his car, backing up and going forward, and says the footage’s release would jeopardize a fair trial.
“You can’t swing a skunk in front of a group of people and tell them not to smell it,” Womble said.
He also said it’s best for the family, which has requested the footage’s immediate release.
Meanwhile county attorney Michael Cox, who’s representing the sheriff’s office, said he wants video released, saying it won’t impede the investigation. An attorney for WAVY and other media organizations is also arguing for an immediate release.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, which is leading the investigation into the incident, also said Wednesday that it was deferring to local law enforcement to release the footage.
“We defer to the local authorities and the courts to make that determination as guided by State law. The SBI supports transparency to the greatest extent possible, as we think this serves the interests of the family, the local community, and North Carolina as a whole.”
The judge watched four bodycam videos. Brown’s family only saw a 20-second clip from one bodycam on Monday.
An independent autopsy released Tuesday found Brown was shot in the back of the head by a deputy. His family and their attorneys have called his death an execution.