"It’s like we’re against all odds in this world," Andrew Brown Jr.’s son Khalil Ferebee said at an April 26 press conference of family and attorneys in Elizabeth City, North Caroina. "My dad got executed just by trying to save his own life. The officers were not in no harm of him at all. It’s just messed up how this happened… He got executed. It ain’t right. It ain’t right at all."
On April 20 in Elizabeth City, sheriffs blasted away at Anthony Brown, Jr. as he sat with his hands on the steering wheel of his car and then tried to flee for his life. He was a Black man in America, with a family, people who loved him. And now his name joins those of thousands over the years killed at the hands of police. And this happened just one day after the pig who murdered George Floyd in front of the whole world was convicted in Minneapolis.
As happens over and over and over in America—the police story is based on bullshit, is a coverup, is self-contradictory, and is out of line with all evidence. For almost a week after the killing of Anthony Brown, Jr, the country sheriff withheld all video of the shooting and produced no explanation for why sheriffs riddled his car with bullets as he was driving away from them. The sheriff said Brown was killed while police were serving him with an arrest warrant for selling drugs—as if an arrest warrant is a death sentence. And the sheriff—at this point—is not even claiming to have found drugs or a gun at Brown’s house or in the car where they murdered him. None of the sheriffs involved is under arrest.
On April 26, in response to outrage and protest, Pasquotank County Attorney Michael Cox finally showed members of Brown’s family a 20-second clip from one deputy's body camera. The officials allowed only one of the family attorneys to join the family in viewing the clip. One family attorney, Bakari Sellers, said in a press conference after the video viewing that Cox told him he was “not going to be fucking bullied”—Sellers said “I’ve never been talked to like I was in there.” Another family attorney, Chantel Cherry-Lassiter, said the video—and this is a short clip edited by officials—shows at least five deputies pointing their weapons directly at Brown yelling at him to show his hands, despite Brown’s hands being on the steering wheel, and then shooting at him. She said that Brown eventually tried to get away to save his own life by backing out of the driveway, maneuvering around the sheriff’s truck and away from the deputies. “There was at no time in the 20 seconds we saw where he was threatening the officers in any kind of way,” she said, but “they continued to shoot him even after he had crashed into a tree.”
In response to righteous and peaceful protests involving hundreds of Black and white people in Elizabeth City and in anticipation of more outrage, city authorities declared a state of emergency—in effect threatening people protesting racist police violence with police violence.
It was a victory for the people that the pig Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd. More than anything, that verdict showed the power of the people in the streets in our millions. But then the next day, pigs in North Carolina shot Andrew Brown, Jr. in the back, murdering him for no reason. And Brown is one of at least six people killed by police within 24 hours after the Chauvin verdict, including Ma'Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black girl, in Columbus, Ohio.