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Community leaders respond after district attorney says deputies fatally shooting Andrew Brown will not be charged

Published: May. 18, 2021 at 9:52 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte community leaders are responding to District Attorney Andrew Womble’s decision not to charge the deputies who shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City.

The district attorney gave his reasons and showed the video of the incident at a press conference.

Charlotte Mecklenburg NAACP President Corine Mack saw the press conference and was not happy with how officials portrayed Brown.

“We’re talking about a man who is a father,” Char-Meck NAACP President Corine Mack said. “A brother, a cousin and loved by many. I heard over and over again all of these dog whistles - that negative narrative that demonized and criminalized Mr. Brown. We heard nothing about the officers who killed them.”

Womble said the deputies were justified in shooting Brown.

“Brown posed an immediate threat to the safety of the officers and others,” District Attorney Andrew Womble said. “Mr. Brown’s conduct did not merely risk injuring officers. By the time of the shooting, Brown had made two aggressive driving moves, which caused his vehicle to contact deputy Lunsford on both occasions.”

Mack has issues with the district attorney’s reasoning.

“So you are telling me six or seven officers with assault rifles felt more endangered,” Mack said. “Than this black man who was surrounded by officers.”

Protests are expected to happen in Elizabeth City in response to the DA’s decision.

Kristie Puckett-Williams with ACLU of North Carolina was on her way to Elizabeth City Tuesday night.

“They know that there is no justice,” Puckett-Williams said. “Because there is nothing that we can do to bring Andrew Brown, Jr. back. And that is what justice would look like for this family. And so accountability would look like the officers who took his life being held accountable, but that’s not even happening. So we’re going to help them figure out what are their next steps as a community? What does accountability look like? What does healing look like and how do they transform this deeply painful incident into something that honors the legacy of Andrew Brown, Jr.”

Puckett-Williams said she is expecting there to be more protests in Elizabeth City.

“We do anticipate protests in Elizabeth City tonight,” ACLU of NC Kristie Puckett-Williams said. “We anticipate those protests because what we know is that a protest is the voice of the unheard. People do not feel as if Mr. Womble, Sheriff Wooten, or anyone who is in a position of power has actually heard what the people want.”

While city leaders prepare for potential unrest Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden provided this statement:

“We still have much work to do in our communities across America. .....Transparency with clarity is very important during these difficult times. But better communication with all parties involved along with mutual respect is vital. .....This should always be the foundation when making these types of decisions that not affect one community but all communities across this great nation as we witnessed this past year.”

Mack believes accountability will happen if people go to the polls to vote for politicians who will listen to the people and take a hard look at policing.

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