"We won't stop fighting for transparency and accountability from law enforcement and the district attorney," Brown's family says in a statement

By Steve Helling
June 11, 2021 01:54 PM
Andrew Brown Jr.
Andrew Brown, Jr.

Andrew Brown Jr. the North Carolina Black man who was killed by police in April, was shot in the back of the head, according to the official autopsy report released on Thursday afternoon.

The autopsy report, which was obtained by CBS News, says that Brown's cause of death was a "penetrating gunshot wound of the head." The manner of death was ruled a homicide. While the autopsy found a small amount of methamphetamine in Brown's system, the medical examiner said that the drug "likely did not play a role in Mr. Brown's cause or manner of death." 

Brown was killed in April while the Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office deputies were serving drug-related search and arrest warrants for him and he tried to flee the scene.

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Last month, Pasquotank District Attorney Andrew Womble alleged that unreleased bodycam video showed Brown hitting officers with his car and driving toward police.

Womble said that the deputies were justified in the shooting, and none of the officers would be charged in connection with Brown's death. 

"Mr. Brown's death, while tragic, was justified because Mr. Brown's actions caused three deputies to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others," Womble said.

Womble said Brown was surrounded on all sides by police, saying, "You are not allowed to run over police officers." Additionally, Womble alleged that Brown's vehicle made contact with police twice before they fired their weapons.

Brown's family disagrees with Womble's assessment, and their attorneys are demanding that all of the body-worn and dashboard camera footage of the shooting to be released. According to CNN, Pasquotank Sheriff Tommy Wooten has also petitioned for the court to allow a public release of the footage without redaction.

The official autopsy appears to confirm the findings of a previous autopsy ordered by Brown's family. The family plans to file a federal lawsuit alleging that Brown was deprived of his rights under state law.

"The autopsy results prove what we've always known to be true: Pasquotank County deputies executed Andrew Brown Jr. with a kill shot to the back of the head," Brown's family tells PEOPLE in a statement. "The false narrative that DA Womble has attempted to weave is completely discredited by this autopsy report."

"Despite law enforcement's and the district attorney's best efforts to hide the facts in this case, and paint Andrew as a villain, we are confident that the truth will be revealed and justice will prevail," the family continued. "We will continue to demand release of video footage from the day Andrew was killed, and we won't stop fighting for transparency and accountability from law enforcement and the district attorney. From what we've seen thus far from both parties, we have a long way to go."