A North Carolina sheriff facing calls to release the body-cam footage of the fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. has said the county will file a motion to release the video as soon as investigators confirm it won’t undermine their investigation. “Because we want transparency, we want the body camera footage made public,” Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II said in a video statement on Saturday. “People have falsely claimed that my office has the power to do so. That is not true, only a judge can release the video. That’s why I’ve asked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to confirm for me that the releasing of the video will not undermine their investigation,” he said. Once that is confirmed, he said, the county will file a motion— “hopefully Monday”—to have the footage released.
His statements come after officials in Elizabeth City put further pressure on the sheriff’s office to release the body-cam footage during a Saturday press conference. Brown’s family met with Sheriff Tommy Wooten on Friday but weren’t allowed to see the footage. Brown, 42, was killed on Wednesday morning by deputies who were serving an arrest warrant. Police dispatch recordings said that he was shot in the back and neighbors claimed deputies fired on his vehicle as he tried to drive away. Seven deputies are on leave and another three have resigned since Brown’s death but a spokesperson said the resignations were unrelated.