Reverend Al Sharpton accuses officials of ‘con game’ at Andrew Brown Jr.’s funeral because of the delayed body cam video release.
After Reverend Al Sharpton gave a heated eulogy at the funeral of Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City, North Carolina on Monday, he also called on the police to release the body camera footage of his death. Sharpton accused officials of subterfuge in refusing to release the full video of the shooting. “I know a con game when I see it,” Sharpton said. “Release the whole tape and let the public see what happened to Andrew Brown.” Brown, who was 42, was killed when police deputies shot him as they were attempting to execute a drug-related search warrant.
Last week, a North Carolina judge delayed the public release of the footage for 30 to 45 days, so authorities can complete an investigation into Brown’s death. Superior Court Judge Jeff Foster denied requests to immediately release police body camera and dashboard video of the shooting, but he did grant release footage of Brown’s son, Khalil Ferebee, but ordered any identifying information to be blurred or removed. Pasquotank District Attorney Andrew Womble argued that the video’s release would improperly influence potential witnesses or jurors. Sharpton took issue with that argument, saying, “How is a tape going to prejudice a grand jury when a grand jury’s got to see the tape in order to decide whether or not they’re going to prosecute?”
“Don’t talk to us like we’re stupid,” he continued. “If there’s nothing on the tape, there won’t be nothing on the tape in 45 days, and if there’s something on it in 45 days, there’s something on it today. You don’t need time to get a tape out — put it out! Let the world see!” Sharpton then added, “If you’ve got nothing to hide, then what are you hiding?” There have been mounting calls for the public release of the footage. Under North Carolina law, a judge must order the release of bodycam footage. Brown’s family, who were allowed to view part of the footage, said Brown had both hands on his steering wheel when police fired at him
An independent autopsy ordered by the family showed that police shot Brown five times, including once in the back of the head. The shooting came a single day after former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. “We could barely celebrate,” Ben Crump, who is the attorney for both the Floyd and Brown families, said at the funeral on Monday. “It is up to us to make the plea for transparency and demand that these videotapes be released,” he added. Brown’s sons, Gerald and Khalil Ferebee, spoke prior to Sharpton at the service, which was held at the Fountain of Life Church, which had about 200 friends and family members attending. “He would’ve loved this. I just wish he was here with us,” Khalil Ferebee said, standing before Brown’s rose-covered casket. “I love you pops.”
ARTICLE: JACOB ZUBY
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: USA TODAY
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