Gaston County Sheriff, NC ACLU respond to protests in Elizabeth City

Calls for transparency in Andrew Brown's death

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - It’s been one week since a North Carolina man was killed by Sheriff’s deputies in Elizabeth City.

Andrew Brown Jr. was shot as Pasquotank County Sheriff’s deputies were trying to serve a search warrant.

In the week since, hundreds of people poured into the streets demanding justice. The protests have also drawn help from organizations across the state.

Since then, the North Carolina ACLU has been on the ground trying to provide support for Brown’s family and activists. ACLU member Kristie Williams says they’re trying to make sure people know their rights, while also trying to maintain peace.

“We just work to ensure that the requests of the community and family were met. The family has been calling for peace and they’ve been calling for protests and dissent but for those things to happen in a peaceful manner,” Williams said.

Williams and other ACLU members are passing out food and working with the North Carolina Community Bail Fund, who say they’re there to help those who are under arrest.

On the other end, Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger says he and other law enforcement agencies across the state are traveling to Elizabeth City to help police and deputies as needed.

“Just like in a hurricane, you need more people because there’s more activity going on plus your people get tired and they need to have some time to rest and catch up,” Cloninger said.

Cloninger says his heart goes out to everyone -- the families, community, and law enforcement officers -- and he hopes the tense moments continue to stay peaceful.

“That’s one of the reasons we respond is to help keep the peace to see the people can express themselves in a peaceful manner and protect that right also,” Cloninger said.

Williams says the North Carolina ACLU isn’t just there in the short term—they’ll fight for justice and transparency long after the cameras and headlines are gone.

“The long-term goal is to help this community heal and build the power necessary to ensure they have the type of police and government officials that actually represent the values that they hold,” Williams said.

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