ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten released a video on Saturday alongside Chief Deputy Daniel Fogg, calling for the body camera footage of the fatal shooting of Andrew Brown to be released.
“Because we want transparency, we want the body camera footage made public. Some people have falsely claimed that my office has the power to do so. That is not true. Only a judge can release the video,” Wooten said. “That’s why I’ve asked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to confirm for me that the releasing of the video will not undermine their investigation.”
Wooten said that once he gets confirmation, a motion will be filed in court to have the footage released.
Elizabeth City Mayor Bettie Parker gave her first public statement Friday about the deadly deputy-involved shooting that has garnered national attention. Saturday morning, along with other city officials, she held a press conference to discuss the case further.
Mayor Parker said she has not personally seen the body camera footage but said she will watch it if it is made available.
The mayor and city manager thanked protesters for being peaceful. There have been protests every day since 42-year-old Brown was shot and killed by law enforcement during the execution of a search warrant on Wednesday.
“We decided to hold the press conference this morning rather than earlier in the week because we felt it would be prudent to first allow space for the county officials to control the narrative since our officers were not involved. To those who have been participating in the ongoing protests, the city would like to thank you for your peace,” Parker said.
Elizabeth City Police Chief Eddie Buffaloe says his department usually works hand in hand with the county. But this time, none of his officers were involved in the incident.
“I didn’t know about it. I’m not sure if it was talked about at the lower level amongst those units, but I did not know about it, and my command staff did not know about it,” Buffaloe said.
Sheriff Wooten told 10 On Your Side seven deputies are on administrative leave following the shooting. Three deputies, who he said were not directly involved in the shooting, have resigned.
Mayor Parker says she was not aware of the reasoning behind their resignations.
Attorney General Josh Stein released the following statement on Saturday:
“I continue to be gravely concerned about the circumstances surrounding Andrew Brown’s death in Elizabeth City. I know his family and friends are grieving, and my heart is with them.
My office has reached out to District Attorney Andrew Womble to offer our assistance. The NC Department of Justice stands ready to assist should DA Womble request our help. I believe the bodycam video should be made available to the family and released publicly without undue delay. Transparency is critically important in situations like this.
People in Elizabeth City and across North Carolina are hurting, and they are understandably engaging in protests in response to this tragic loss of life. I urge them to do so peacefully and lawfully.”