The FBI launched a civil rights investigation into the death of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man shot five times by deputies in North Carolina.
The FBI’s Charlotte field office said in a statement that its agents intended to work closely with the Department of Justice “to determine whether federal laws were violated.”
An independent autopsy was performed Sunday by a pathologist hired by Brown’s family and noted four wounds to the right arm and one to the head.
Ben Crump, a lawyer for the Brown family, told reporters, “you all know from the death certificate that it was a penetrating gunshot wound to the head,” but the independent autopsy concluded, “that it was a kill shot to the back of the head”.
The state’s autopsy has not yet been released.
The family was allowed to view just 20 seconds of bodycam footage of Brown Jr.’s killing. The video has not been released publicly and the department has offered up very little information surrounding the 42-year-old’s death.
Another family lawyer, Chantel Cherry-Lassiter, who viewed the video, said officers opened fire on Brown while he had his hands on the steering wheel of a car. She says he was trying to drive away from officers but posed no threat to them.
“They were shooting and saying: ‘Let me see your hands!’ at the same time,” Lassiter said. “Let’s be clear: This was an execution.”
Protestors are calling for the bodycam video to be released. Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II has said seven Pasquotank County deputies have been placed on leave while the State Bureau of Investigation probes the shooting.
“We do not feel that we got transparency,” Crump said at a news conference on Monday. “We only saw a snippet of the video. … And they determined what was pertinent. Why couldn’t the family see all of the video? They only showed one body-cam video, even though we know there were several.”