By Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice on April 21, 2021
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) is investigating an officer-involved shooting by a Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Deputy in Elizabeth City on the morning of April 21 that resulted in the death of Andrew Brown Jr. The deputy was engaged in serving a search warrant at the time of the shooting.
At a press conference held shortly after 3:30 p.m. on April 21, Pasquotank Sheriff Tommy Wooten II said that “it has been a tragic day,” adding that, “I have complete trust in the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and its ability to complete the investigation…We will be transparent with this situation.” The identity of the deputy was not revealed.
Wooten also indicated that Dare County Sheriff’s personnel were at the scene of the incident, but stated that it was the Pasquotank Deputy who fired the gun. The sheriff also said his department does use body cameras and that they were active at the time of the incident.
SBI Special Agent Masha Rogers said Wooten had requested her agency’s involvement, adding that, “We will conduct a thorough investigation and will turn our findings” over to District Attorney Andrew Womble. Womble, also in attendance at the press conference, described the situation as “an active criminal investigation. What we will look for is accurate answers, not fast answers. This is not a rush to judgment.”
The Daily Advance in Elizabeth City, which identified the deceased man as an African American, also reported that Brown’s neighbors had called for an immediate investigation into his death.
This incident comes one day after former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted on multiple counts for the May 2020 murder of George Floyd. The case roiled passions and racial tensions across the county and put a red-hot spotlight on the troubled relationship between the African-American community and U.S. police forces and tactics.