San Francisco Chronicle

Mourners call for justice over killing of Black man

- By Ben Finley and Jonathan Drew Ben Finley and Jonathan Drew are Associated Press writers.

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — Mourners gathered Monday for the funeral of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man shot and killed by deputies in North Carolina, with the Rev. Al Sharpton issuing a powerful call for transparen­cy and the release of bodycamera footage.

At an invitation­only service in a church in Elizabeth City, Sharpton delivered a fiery eulogy that likened delays in the release of law enforcemen­t footage to a con job done on the public. A judge ruled last week that the video would not be released for another month pending a state investigat­ion of the shooting.

“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. “If you’ve got nothing to hide, then what are you hiding?”

Other speakers included Brown’s sons as well as civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representi­ng Brown’s family. Calling Brown’s death an “unjustifia­ble, reckless shooting,” Crump told mourners the legal team would continue fighting for justice and transparen­cy, including the release of deputy bodycamera footage.

Brown, 42, was shot and killed on April 21 by deputies attempting to serve drugrelate­d search and arrest warrants, sparking days of protests in the city in rural northeaste­rn North Carolina. An independen­t autopsy commission­ed by his family said that he was shot five times, including once in the back of the head.

Family members have said that Brown was a proud father of seven, who was known for entertaini­ng relatives with his stories and jokes.

Brown’s family asked Sharpton to deliver the eulogy because they felt the civil rights leader would properly honor his legacy. Sharpton recently delivered the eulogy for Daunte Wright, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Minnesota.

Among the mourners arriving at the church was Davy Armstrong, who said he went to high school with Brown.

“He was very humble, very generous. He said he was doing good,” said Armstrong. “We hear about this on TV all the time. But when it’s someone so well known and so respected, it’s pretty painful.”

 ?? Gerry Broome / Associated Press ?? Friends and family members attend the funeral for Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City, N.C.
Gerry Broome / Associated Press Friends and family members attend the funeral for Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City, N.C.

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