‘Was It Justified To Shoot At My Damn House?’: Andrew Brown’s Neighbor Reacts To Prosecutor’s Decision

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LAW & ORDER: The prosecutor for Pasquotank County, North Carolina will not be bringing criminal charges against the sheriff’s deputies who shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr. on April 21 in Elizabeth City. District Attorney Andrew Womble held a press conference on Tuesday where he announced that he concluded the shooting was “justified.” 

Michael Gordon, a neighbor of Brown’s who had a bullet fly through his living room during the shooting, disputed that assessment in a conversation with The Uprising on Tuesday afternoon. 

“Was it justified to shoot in my damn house?” Gordon asked. 

One of the bullets fired at Brown as he drove away from the deputies traveled through multiple rooms in Gordon’s house before being stopped by a metal pot in his kitchen. Gordon previously told The Uprising that the bullet passed a chair where his wife frequently sits and a table where his family often eats. He claimed no one except for the Elizabeth City chief of police, whose officers were not involved in the shooting, had reached out to him about the damage.

“Ain’t nobody said a damn word to me except the chief of police,” Gordon said. “He’s the only one who’s been out here and offered any condolences.”

Gordon indicated he is considering taking legal action regarding the damage to his home.

“I’m going to have to seek some evidently,” he said, adding: “I’m sick of this shit now. Excuse my language. Right now I’m out of character. At this point, it’s boiling in me and I got to let it fly.” 

However, Gordon also indicated there’s no legal remedy for the pain he feels due to the loss of a neighbor he described as “my man.” 

“The damage to my heart, they can’t fix that,” said Gordon. “They cracked it. They broke the shit out of this one.”

At the press conference, Womble also released some of the body camera footage that attorneys for Brown’s family and local Black Lives Matter activists had been pressing to make public. The images show the deputies, who were part of a SWAT-style tactical unit, approach Brown’s parked car in his driveway. He appears to back up and move towards the deputies before driving away across his front yard. The officers are seen continuing to shoot towards Gordon’s home as Brown’s car drives away. 

Womble explained that the deputies were serving two felony warrants for the sale of controlled cocaine and fentanyl-laced heroin. Womble said one of the deputies had his hand on the door of Brown’s car as it began to back away. The district attorney said the use of force was justified due to the seriousness of Brown’s crimes, his efforts to resist arrest, and the danger the car posed to the deputies. 

“After reviewing the investigation conducted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Brown’s death, while tragic, was justified,” Womble said. “Mr. Brown’s actions caused three deputies with the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others.”

Attorneys for Brown’s family have described the shooting as an “execution.” An independent autopsy commissioned by Brown’s family indicated the fatal wound was a shot to the back of the head. The FBI is also investigating the shooting. A spokesperson for the bureau declined to comment about the status of that probe.

The Brown family’s legal team released a statement after Womble’s press conference describing it as an “attempt to whitewash this unjustified killing.”

“To say this shooting was justified, despite the known facts, is both an insult and a slap in the face to Andrew’s family, the Elizabeth City community, and to rational people everywhere,” the statement said. “Not only was the car moving away from officers, but four of them did not fire their weapons — clearly they did not feel their lives were endangered.”

The Brown family’s attorneys called for the DOJ to “intervene immediately.”

BLAME GAME: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced on Tuesday that he is opposed to efforts to investigate the January 6 attack, and some Democrats suggested he is scared of acknowledging the role that he and his colleagues played in the storming of the Capitol as President Trump’s election loss was certified. 

“McCarthy’s actions this morning can best be looked at as someone who’s afraid of his own culpability,” a Democratic Hill source told The Uprising.

McCarthy issued a statement saying his opposition is due to Republican concerns the commission would not also examine rioting that took place amid recent left wing protests. 

"Given the political misdirections that have marred this process,” McCarthy said, “given the now duplicative and potentially counterproductive nature of this effort, and given the Speaker's shortsighted scope that does not examine interrelated forms of political violence in America, I cannot support this legislation.”

Asked about the statement, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) responded by noting McCarthy also objected to the chairs of the commission having subpoena power, which he described as the standard practice in Congress. 

“I don’t know what Kevin McCarthy is afraid of,” Jeffries said.

When asked about the comment from Jeffries, McCarthy’s head of communications, Matt Sparks told The Uprising it was proof of the partisan nature of the effort to investigate the attack.

“The most important question is why the Capitol was breached. Anyone that wants to make that about McCarthy shows how unserious and political this commission is,” Sparks said.

The commission was established by a bipartisan agreement between the House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, and the committee’s ranking Republican, Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.). Katko was one of ten Republicans in the House of Representatives who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the attack. 

McCarthy reportedly held a contentious phone call with Trump as the rioters stormed the Capitol. Questions have been raised about delays in the National Guard’s response and whether Trump, who appeared at a rally earlier that day and encouraged his supporters to “fight like hell” and march to the Capitol. 

THE SON ALSO RISES: Andrew Giuliani is running for governor in New York as a Republican. 

Giuliani, who was a staffer in the Trump White House, was last seen defending his father, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, after the FBI raided his home and office last month. The FBI investigation is reportedly focused on whether the elder Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration while he served as the former president’s personal attorney. 

A web ad, posted by the younger Giuliani on Tuesday afternoon, focused heavily on the many allegations against New York’s current governor, Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat. Cuomo is currently facing multiple investigations due to several sexual assault accusations, a lucrative deal he received for a book on his handling of COVID, and questions about whether he covered up nursing home deaths during the pandemic. 

“It’s time to bring New York back,” Giuliani declares in the ad.

“The character of New Yorkers, bold and brash, making possible the impossible,” Giuliani said, adding: “Like our mighty waters, we New Yorkers are facing turbulent times. Defund the police let criminals run free, keep our kids out of school, and all the while, raise taxes. It’s time for a change.”

The clip also features multiple shots of the New York City Police Department. As mayor, the elder Giuliani was known for being tough on crime. At the end of the ad, the younger Giuliani is shown waving at passing motorcycle cops in Times Square. The officers had no visible reaction.

FUN FACT: Rudy Giuliani really, really, really does not like ferrets.

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This issue was updated at 8:15 pm with the comment from McCarthy’s office.