ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WNCN) – The Pasquotank County sheriff said he hopes a fact-checking website can help the public “cut through the deception and falsehoods” surrounding the Andrew Brown Jr. case.
On Thursday, Sheriff Tommy Wooten released the names of the deputies involved in the case in an effort to be transparent.
In an accompanying statement, Wooten said a fact-checking page on the county’s website had been published to help dispel rumors and falsehoods “advanced by out of town agitators and social media instigators.”
“Some people are purposefully spreading false information and others are being reckless. Either way, the truth matters. This page of our website will contain links to all the official county statements and public documents being released on this matter,” the page states.
The page touches on the topics of the body camera video, how much of the video was shown to Brown’s family and attorney, what kinds of warrants were taken out on Brown, and the need for a SWAT team to arrest him.
The page addresses a rumor that says Brown’s family was only shown 20 seconds of the deadly encounter.
“The entire encounter of engaging Mr. Brown and the use of deadly force lasted less than 20 seconds. The family viewed the entire encounter. The family was able to watch the video 10-20 times,” the site says.
It goes on to discuss accusations of bullying by the county attorney by a lawyer for the Brown family.
After the family viewed the body camera footage, attorney Bakari Sellers said County Attorney Mike Cox was trying to keep the family’s attorneys from viewing the video.
“We went back and forth and I just want to say I’ve never been talked to like I was talked to in there,” Sellers said.
The fact-checking website’s retort:
“On 4/26/21, the County Attorney was allowing the family to view the body camera footage in private. Several lawyers were present who claimed to represent the family. All of these demanded to be allowed to view the footage but only one of the lawyers present is licensed to practice law or represent people in North Carolina. It is illegal to practice law in North Carolina without a North Carolina license or express court permission. When the County Attorney pointed this out and asked that only the lawyer permitted by law to represent people in North Carolina would be allowed to accompany the family, one of the lawyers –a CNN celebrity commentator not licensed in North Carolina attempted to bully the County Attorney into allowing the unlicensed attorneys into the room. The County Attorney was following the law by not permitting unauthorized practice of law.”
Brown was shot April 21 as deputies from Pasquotank County attempted to serve a search warrant at a resident on Perry Street. Brown was shot while in his car.