The family of an unarmed black man who was shot and killed in his car by sheriff’s deputies over a year ago has reached a $3 million settlement with authorities.
Andrew Brown Jr. was killed on April 21, 2020 by Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies while they were serving drug-related warrants at his home. His family filed a $30 million civil rights lawsuit claiming he died because the officers displayed an “intentional and reckless disregard of his life.”
As officers surrounded his BMW, Brown backed up and moved forward, prompting the deputies to open fire. He was fatally struck in the back of his head.
District Attorney Andrew Womble claimed the shooting was “justified” at a press conference last year and said that Brown’s car had made contact with police officers before he was killed. Brown, a known drug dealer, had a lengthy rap sheet and police executed the warrant because they believed he was dealing crack cocaine out of his Elizabeth City home.
Brown’s family claimed that he was trying to drive away from the police and did not pose a threat. They also claimed that police bodycam footage showed Brown sitting stationary in his car with his hands on the wheel when police began shooting.
The $3 million dollar settlement includes a $1 million special appropriation, on top of the $2 million from the county’s insurance policy which was provided by the North Carolina Counties Liabilities Pool. It was approved by the Pasquotank County Board of Commissioners.
The payment resolves liability from the defendants and any individual officers who were named or could be named in a lawsuit over Brown’s death. As part of the settlement, the family agreed to dismiss all claims against Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II and three sheriff’s deputies.
The settlement will be shared by Brown’s children who are the heirs of his estate.
A statement released by the five attorneys representing Brown’s family remembered the slain man as “a devoted father who wanted his children to have the things he didn’t.”
With Post wires