Rev. Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist, called for the release of bodycam recordings of the death of Andrew Brown Jr., who was killed by sheriff’s deputies in North Carolina last month.
Sharpton, speaking during a eulogy for Brown at the Fountain of Life Church in Elizabeth City, N.C., called the authorities’ decision not to immediately release the full video of his April 21 shooting death a “con game.”
Pasquotank County officials have so far only permitted Brown’s relatives to see an edited 20-second clip of his passing, although a judge last week barred the publication of the entire video to the public.
In granting an appeal from the county’s district attorney, Pasquotank County Superior Court Judge Jeff Foster ruled that releasing the video would “create a serious threat to the fair, impartial and orderly administration of justice,”
Foster, on the other hand, stipulated that Brown’s relatives be able to watch the video within 10 days.
The delay in publishing the film, according to Sharpton, amounted to a game of “three-card Monte.”
“The county, the city and the D.A., they’re playing a shell game,” Sharpton said as mourners voiced their approval.
“They’re saying that they don’t want to release the tape because it might prejudice a grand jury. Well, the grand jury is supposed to see the tape themselves … I know a con game when I see it. Release the whole tape and let the folks see what happened to Andrew Brown.”
The civil rights activist disputed the legitimacy of the delay, saying, “You don’t need time to get a tape out. Put it out. Let the world see what it is to see. If you got nothing to hide, then what are you hiding?”
Brown family attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said that the video clip shown by family members shows Brown with his hands on the steering wheel of his car at the moment he was fired, implying that he posed no threat to police.
During last week’s court appearance, Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble denied the interpretation as “patently false” claiming that Brown tried to flee by crashing his car into police cars, which had boxed him in during the arrest.
He said that Brown’s car approached the officers and made contact with them.