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Under Investigation: North Carolina Deputy Fatally Shoots Black Man


The Chauvin trial has fixed the country's attention on the police killings of Black Americans, which keep happening. Moments before the Chauvin verdict, an officer shot and killed a teenage girl in Ohio. Yesterday, Andrew Brown Jr. was shot by police at his home in Elizabeth City, N.C. Both shootings are under investigation. NPR's Sarah McCammon has the story from North Carolina.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: As soon as Marvin Godfrey woke up yesterday, it was clear something was very wrong in his neighborhood.

MARVIN GODFREY: I tell you, I heard the gunshots. I woke up to them and my kids screaming.

MCCAMMON: Godfrey lives near the home where Pasquotank County sheriff's deputies came to carry out a warrant and shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr. Few other details are known about what happened. Godfrey doesn't understand how this all ended with a man's death.

GODFREY: It's unnecessary what's going on, not just here but all through the country. It's unnecessary.

MCCAMMON: Godfrey says former officer Derek Chauvin's conviction this week was good news, but he says he's tired of the aggressive policing that's killing so many Black people.

GODFREY: It's kind of partial justice because one person have received their due diligence in court. And, you know - but there's still a list of people that have not received their justice. So, I mean, it's just a small step in the right direction.

MCCAMMON: Not far from where Brown was shot to death, Sheriff Tommy Wooten hosted a brief press conference.


TOMMY WOOTEN: It's been a tragic day today.

MCCAMMON: The sheriff said he has complete trust in North Carolina's State Bureau of Investigation, which is now in charge of reviewing the matter.


WOOTEN: And we will be transparent and we will take the proper action based on the findings of that investigation.

MCCAMMON: But many people here in Elizabeth City want answers now.


MCCAMMON: The Elizabeth City Council held an emergency meeting last night. Outside, protesters gathered on the street. Councilman Darius Horton came out to try to calm the crowd.

DARIUS HORTON: We live in the hood. We represent you. And in the meeting tonight, I told them the easiest way to solve this problem is to release the video camera footage.


MCCAMMON: Officials say sheriff's deputies were wearing body cameras at the time of the shooting. There are growing calls from Horton and others for that footage to be made public.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Chanting) No justice. No peace. No justice. No peace. No justice. No peace.

MCCAMMON: The crowd began marching down the street through Elizabeth City. As she joined them, Zinia Holley said the conviction of George Floyd's killer had brought her some hope.

ZINIA HOLLEY: I think it gave the whole world hope that it would change. But as soon as today, 24 hours later, it didn't change. It's getting worse.

MCCAMMON: Holley says she's been thinking about her son. She prays for justice for Brown's family and for the violence to stay far away from hers.

Sarah McCammon, NPR News, Elizabeth City, N.C.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHRISTIAN SCOTT'S "KIEL") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sarah McCammon worked for Iowa Public Radio as Morning Edition Host from January 2010 until December 2013.
Sarah McCammon
Sarah McCammon is a National Correspondent covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR. Her work focuses on political, social and cultural divides in America, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersections of politics and religion. She's also a frequent guest host for NPR news magazines, podcasts and special coverage.