On April 21, 2021, Andrew Brown, Jr., a Black man, was shot and killed when a team of seven deputies in tactical gear from the Pasquotank Sheriff's Office arrived at a home in a residential area of Elizabeth City, North Carolina to execute an arrest warrant for Brown on drug charges. Shortly after the deputies arrived, three of them fired shots at Brown: Investigator Daniel Meads, Deputy Sheriff II Robert Morgan and Cpl. Aaron Lewellyn. Brown died from the gunshot wounds. The case gained national attention for occurring the morning after Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd.
In the immediate aftermath of Brown's death, body camera footage, which is not considered a public record in North Carolina, was not released to the public and only 20 seconds were shown to Brown's family. After weeks of legal actions and negotiations, the family was shown 20 minutes of body cam footage. Brown's family also commissioned an independent autopsy which showed that he was shot four times in the right arm and once in the back of the head. The family maintains that the shooting was an unnecessary use of force and wants the officers involved to be held criminally accountable. The deputies were placed on administrative leave, and their lawyer has argued that the use of force was justified. While the four deputies who did not fire their weapons during the incident were cleared to return to active duty, two have resigned and a third has retired. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation conducted an inquiry into the incident, and the FBI has started a civil rights investigation.
On May 18, 2021, the Pasquotank County District Attorney announced that he was declining to file charges against Meads, Morgan, and Lewellyn. Brown's family had previously called for the district attorney to recuse himself from the case. The Pasquotank County Sheriff announced that the deputies will face discipline and retraining but will remain on the force.
Brown Clark v. Meads et al, Case no. 4:2021cv00097
This lawsuit was filed by Brown's family in July 2021, and they are seeking $30 million.