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Statement in Response to the Shooting of Andrew Brown, Jr.

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Shaw University
and
Shaw University Center for Racial and Social Justice 
Statement in Response to the Shooting of Andrew Brown, Jr.

By
Dr. Valerie Ann Johnson
Dean, Shaw University School of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities
Co-Director, Shaw University Center for Racial and Social Justice

and

Dr. Johnny Bernard Hill
Dean, Shaw University Divinity School
Co-Director, Shaw University Center for Racial and Social Justice

A 42-year-old Black man, Andrew Brown, Jr., was shot five times—including once in his head—and was killed by sheriff’s deputies in Pasquotank County, North Carolina on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.  In the shadow of the recent verdict involving former Officer Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd, Shaw University and the Shaw University Center for Racial and Social Justice (CRSJ) join the chorus of voices calling for the immediate release of any and all body cameras in association with the killing of Andrew Brown, Jr.  

We stand in solidarity with the Brown family and the people of Elizabeth City, NC, our neighbors, in the call for justice and transparency.  We stand against the devaluing of human life reflected in this incident. Black lives matter and are sacred in the sight of God.  We believe in the dignity and inherent worth of all human life and demand the complete halt of killing unarmed black men and women.   

What is clear is that for the family and public, there is limited transparency regarding what actually happened.  What is clear is that the North Carolina law passed in 2016 that only allows release of bodycam video footage under court order has led to a family’s continued pain and angst. It prevents a much-needed public understanding of a tragic, violent event and prevents full accountability.

Our deepest prayers are with the family of the late Andrew Brown Jr.  In the state capital of Raleigh, the CRSJ is committed to the pursuit of justice and human dignity in the shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr. and the deeper crisis of voter suppression and marginalization across the state of North Carolina and nationally.

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