Andrew Brown Jr.’s Family Will See Body Camera Video of Shooting

Sheriff Tommy Wooten II of Pasquotank County, who has faced calls to resign from the local N.A.A.C.P., has said that he supports releasing the videos. Late Monday afternoon, he released a short videotaped message in which he was flanked by Chief Deputy Daniel Fogg, who said that the county attorney had filed a petition for the release of the videos. “This tragic incident was quick and over in less than 30 seconds,” Sheriff Wooten said in the video, “and body cameras are shaky and sometimes hard to decipher. They only tell part of the story.” News media outlets also filed a legal action in an effort to have the footage released, but their lawyer, Michael J. Tadych, said on Monday that he was not sure when his case would receive a hearing. Under North Carolina law, police body camera videos can only be released to the public with the approval of a judge. Anybody, including the news media, a police department or a citizen, can request the release of a video, though certain stakeholders can object to its release or ask for sections to be blurred, said Frayda Bluestein, a professor of public law and government at the University of North Carolina. Ms. Bluestein said the current system, which began in 2016, was meant to give equal voice to law enforcement officials, citizens and journalists, who may have conflicting concerns about what videos should be released, and whether to redact them. A bill introduced in the state legislature seeks to change that, and would force law enforcement agencies to release body camera video upon request within 48 hours of the recording. A person or agency could object in that scenario, in which case a judge would review the objections. In contrast, other jurisdictions have recently been quick to release body camera videos, particularly as interest in police violence has mounted and calls for transparency within police departments have become more fervent. In the case of Ms. Bryant, officials made some body camera footage available the same day. In Virginia, officials released the video of Isaiah Brown, a 32-year-old Black man who was shot by the police, two days after the encounter.

Andrew Brown Jr.’s Family Will See Body Camera Video of Shooting
Sheriff Tommy Wooten II of Pasquotank County, who has faced calls to resign from the local N.A.A.C.P., has said that he supports releasing the videos. Late Monday afternoon, he released a short videotaped message in which he was flanked by Chief Deputy Daniel Fogg, who said that the county attorney had filed a petition for the release of the videos. “This tragic incident was quick and over in less than 30 seconds,” Sheriff Wooten said in the video, “and body cameras are shaky and sometimes hard to decipher. They only tell part of the story.” News media outlets also filed a legal action in an effort to have the footage released, but their lawyer, Michael J. Tadych, said on Monday that he was not sure when his case would receive a hearing. Under North Carolina law, police body camera videos can only be released to the public with the approval of a judge. Anybody, including the news media, a police department or a citizen, can request the release of a video, though certain stakeholders can object to its release or ask for sections to be blurred, said Frayda Bluestein, a professor of public law and government at the University of North Carolina. Ms. Bluestein said the current system, which began in 2016, was meant to give equal voice to law enforcement officials, citizens and journalists, who may have conflicting concerns about what videos should be released, and whether to redact them. A bill introduced in the state legislature seeks to change that, and would force law enforcement agencies to release body camera video upon request within 48 hours of the recording. A person or agency could object in that scenario, in which case a judge would review the objections. In contrast, other jurisdictions have recently been quick to release body camera videos, particularly as interest in police violence has mounted and calls for transparency within police departments have become more fervent. In the case of Ms. Bryant, officials made some body camera footage available the same day. In Virginia, officials released the video of Isaiah Brown, a 32-year-old Black man who was shot by the police, two days after the encounter.