(Reuters) -Officials of an eastern North Carolina city took steps on Friday to win the release of video from the body-worn camera of a sheriff's deputy who shot and killed a Black man this week while trying to serve him with warrants.
The city council of Elizabeth City formally requested that the Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office, District Attorney Andrew Womble and state authorities release the video.
If the request is denied, the council's unanimously passed resolution directs the city attorney to seek a court order compelling the release of video showing the shooting of 42-year-old Andrew Brown Jr. on Wednesday morning.
The shooting, coming a day after the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd after a highly publicized trial, triggered three days of small, peaceful protests in the riverfront community of about 18,000 residents, half of whom are African American.
Sheriff Tommy Wooten and Chief Deputy Daniel Fogg, in a video posted on social media, said the shooting occurred as deputies were trying to serve an arrest warrant and search warrant on Brown stemming from a felony drug charge.
"Mr. Brown was a convicted felon with a history of resisting arrest," Fogg said in the video posted late on Thursday. "Our training and our policy indicates that under such circumstances, there is a high risk of danger."
Wooten said the investigation into the shooting has been turned over to the State Bureau of Investigation, which he said has the body camera video.
"I will not predict anything or draw any conclusions until we have all the facts, and that may take some time," he said, adding that if deputies are found to have violated the law they will be held accountable.
Wooten said earlier this week that the deputy who opened fire was placed on administrative leave. Fogg said some deputies have received threats since the shooting.
CNN cited Wooten as saying six additional deputies have been placed on leave and three others have resigned.
Law enforcement officials have not said whether Brown was armed at the time of the shooting.
(Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles, California; Editing by Daniel Wallis)