“The FBI Charlotte Field Office has opened a federal civil rights investigation into the police involved shooting death of Andrew Brown, Jr.,” an FBI statement to Fox News reads. “Agents will work closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice to determine whether federal laws were violated. As this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment further.”
The announcement coincided with the release of findings from an independent autopsy commissioned by Brown family attorneys that found Brown, 42, was shot five times — four in his right arm and once in the back of the head — on April 21 by Pasquotank County Sheriff deputies.
“Let’s be clear. This was an execution. Andrew Brown was in his driveway. The sheriff truck blocked him in his driveway so he could not exit his driveway,” attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said at a Monday press conference outside the Pasquotank County Public Safety building. “Andrew had his hands on his steering wheel – he was not reaching for anything, he was not touching anything, he wasn’t throwing anything around. He has his hands firmly on the steering wheel.”
Brown was killed in Elizabeth City as the deputies were serving search and arrest warrants. Seven deputies have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. Brown’s family said they viewed 20 seconds of bodycam footage of the shooting on Monday.
In a video statement released Monday evening, Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten asked for patience while the investigation into the shooting by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation continues. He said the incident “was quick and over in less than 30 seconds and body cameras are shaky and sometimes hard to decipher.”
The FBI probe will look into whether any federal laws were broken during the attempted arrest. On Monday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a Justice Department “pattern or practice” investigation into the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government and the Louisville Police Department.