A North Carolina sheriff’s office announced a $3 million settlement in a lawsuit filed by the family of an unarmed Black man who was shot and killed in his car by sheriff’s deputies last year. The family of Andrew Brown Jr. filed a $30 million civil rights lawsuit, saying he died because officers showed “intentional and reckless disregard of his life.” Brown was killed on April 21, 2021, by Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies while they were serving drug-related warrants at his Elizabeth City home, the Associated Press reports. Several deputies surrounded Brown in his BMW before his car backed up and moved forward. They fired several shots, killing him with a bullet to the back of his head.
District Attorney Andrew Womble had said Brown used his car as a “deadly weapon,” causing deputies to believe it was necessary to use deadly force. Lawyers for the Brown family said the shooting was unjustified because Brown was trying to drive away that he posed no threat. After viewing body camera footage of the shooting, they said Brown was sitting in his stationary car with his hands on the wheel when the first of numerous shots was fired. Brown’s children will share in the proceeds of the settlement as heirs of his estate. “Andrew Brown Jr. was a devoted father who wanted his children to have the things he didn’t,” said a statement from his family's attorneys.