© 2024 Blue Ridge Public Radio
Blue Ridge Mountains banner background
Your source for information and inspiration in Western North Carolina.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Two Deputies Return To Work, One Resigns After Fatal Shooting Of Andrew Brown Jr.

Two North Carolina sheriff's deputies who fired shots during the incident in which Andrew Brown Jr. was killed returned to work this week after being placed on administrative leave, Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten announced on Friday.

A third deputy who also fired his gun plans to resign from his position at the end of the month.

Deputy Daniel Meads came back on June 1 and Deputy Robert Morgan came back on June 2, Wooten said in a statement. Deputy Aaron Lewellyn told the sheriff's office that he is resigning effective June 30, the sheriff said, and that Lewellyn will use accrued leave until then.

Pasquotank County deputies fatally shot Brown, a 42-year-old Black man, on April 21, while trying to serve search and arrest warrants for drug-related charges at his home in Elizabeth City, N.C.

Seven deputies were initially put on administrative leave following the shooting, but four of them returned to work after the sheriff's office said that a review of body camera footage revealed that those deputies did not fire their weapons.

Meads, Morgan and Lewellyn, the deputies who the office said did fire their guns, stayed on leave while the State Bureau of Investigation investigated the incident.

Last month, District Attorney Andrew Womble said he would not file charges against the deputies, saying their use of deadly force against Brown was "justified," because the officers "reasonably believed" they were in danger.

That same day, Sheriff Wooten saidthe three deputies who fired their weapons could stay on the force but would be disciplined and retrained.

Brown's death ignited protests in the city, with calls for the public release of body cam footage of the shooting and demands for the firings of the deputies involved in the incident.

Attorneys for Brown's family described footage of the shooting as an "execution." An independent autopsy commissioned by the family found that Brown died from a gunshot to the back of the head.

Family members have been allowed to see about 20 minutes of body cam and dashcam videos of the incident. They said the footage shows Brown posed no threat to law enforcement officers and that the deputies "ambushed" Brown while he sat in his car.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.