Family, friends gather to mourn Andrew Brown Jr. at funeral
The family gathered at a church in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, on Monday to say goodbye to their loved one and call for justice.
Andrew Brown Jr. was laid to rest on Monday in Elizabeth City, North Carolina as the investigation into his death and nationwide calls for justice and transparency continue.
According to the local news station 10 On Your Side, the invite-only event tasked Reverend Al Sharpton with delivering the eulogy. During his speech, he demanded law enforcement release the video that shows the full picture of the circumstances which resulted in officers shooting Brown Jr. multiple times, including in the back of the head.
“I know a con game when I see it. Release the whole tape and let the folks see what happened to Andrew Brown,” Sharpton said to loud applause, the news station reported. He added: “You don’t need time to get a tape out. Put it out! Let the world see what there is to see. If you’ve got nothing to hide, then what are you hiding?”
Attorney Ben Crump also spoke during the service, assuring family members that he will continue to push for justice.
“We are here to make this plea for justice because Andrew was killed unjustifiably, as many Black men in America have been killed: shot in the back. Shot, going away from the police. And because Andrew cannot make the plea for justice, it is up to us to make the plea for justice,” Crump said.
CNN reported many family members in attendance lined up at the Fountain of Life church wearing white T-shirts with Brown’s image with the text “Long Live Drew.” The back of the shirts read, “Gone but never forgotten.” A plane flew above the church with a banner that read, “Andrew Brown, Jr. Never Forget.”
Khalil Ferebee, Brown’s son spoke in honor of his father, per CNN.
“Everybody keep their hands up and keep God in your prayers because he gonna work all this out for us,” Ferebee said at the service. “It’s a terrible way we had to be together like this but seeing everybody, I’m glad we together like this right now. He would have loved this. I just wish he was here with us. As much as I’m gonna wish and wish and wish all day, it’s not gonna happen.”
Another son, Jha’rod Ferebeem remembered the close relationship he shared with his dad.
“Me and my dad we were like best friends. Every time you see him, you see me, and every time you see me, you see him,” he said according to CNN. “I remember growing up, couldn’t nobody tell me nothing wrong with my daddy,”
As theGrio reported, even before the family was able to hold a funeral, the deputies who shot Andrew Brown Jr. were back on duty.
Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten has identified the 10 deputies involved. Investigator Daniel Meads, Deputy Robert Morgan and Cpl. Aaron Lewellyn fired shots at Brown and will remain on administrative leave, according to Wooten.
Four deputies have since returned to work. They have been identified as Lt. Steven Judd, Sgt. Michael Swindell, Sgt. Kenneth Bishop and Sgt. Joel Lunford. These officers were returned to active duty after an internal investigation showed they never fired a shot at Brown.
“After reviewing the preliminary conclusions of the independent investigators conducting the internal review, and after carefully examining the body camera footage of the incident with my own staff, it’s obvious that four of the deputies never fired their weapons and deserve to be reinstated to active duty,” Wooten said.
While Wooten has been able to view the footage for his investigation, the family and public demands to see it have not been completely answered.
Per theGrio, the family was able to view a short clip of the footage and a judge has denied releasing any of the video publicly. On April 28, Judge Jeff Foster ruled against a petition filed by media outlets, based on the release of the video potentially affecting a trial and putting deputies involved in danger.
The family will see the full video in 30-45 days from the ruling when the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is expected to complete its investigation per The Washington Post.
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