The funeral for Andrew Brown Jr was held yesterday in North Carolina. The 42-year-old black man was killed by sheriffs in North Carolina nearly two weeks ago. Police were attempting to serve an arrest warrant at the time of the murder. An autopsy paid for by the family showed, Andrew Brown was shot five times, including a fatal shot to the back of the head. The North Carolina Board of Investigations is currently investigating Andrew Brown Jr’s killing, and the seven sheriff deputies involved are on administrative leave.
As his family gathered to remember Andrew Brown Jr’s life, activists continued their calls for justice and transparency in the investigation. Rev. Al Sharpton, who delivered the eulogy for Andrew Brown, challenged authorities to release the body camera footage.
“…Release the whole tape and let folks see what happened. You don’t need time to get a tape out. Put it out! Let the world see what there is to see. If you’ve got nothing to hide, then what are you hiding?” According to North Carolina law, footage from body cameras can only be released via a court order. Last Wednesday, a judge denied the family and other media outlet’s request to release the body cam video. The judge said the footage would be made public in 30 days.
Two family members were allowed to view a short clip of the video last week. While there are conflicting reports about what happened, family attorney Ben Crump said the video they were allowed to see showed an execution. Andrew Brown Jr’s son, Khalil Ferebee, said the use of deadly force was unnecessary. “Those gunshots to the arm, that weren’t enough? That weren’t enough?” and they’re going to shoot him in the back of the head? That s— not right. That’s not right at all, man.”
The father of seven, Andrew Brown, Jr, was remembered by family and loved ones as a fun-loving man devoted to his children. Families of others murdered by police were in attendance as well. Eric Gardner’s mother, relatives of Daunte Wright and George Floyd attended the services in support of the family.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooker has called for a special prosecutor in the case. The killing of Andrew Brown, Jr is the latest in a string of police-related killings in recent weeks.
Danielle Sanders is a writer and journalist living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersOfficial.