The April 21, 2021 police shooting of Andrew Brown set off local community protests throughout Elizabeth City, North Carolina, where activists demanded the release of bodycam footage and for officers to be charged in his death.
While the protests remained universally peaceful, a state of emergency was announced which imposed an 8pm curfew. News2Share provided daily video and photo coverage from April 28 (the second day of 8pm curfew) to May 2nd, when a major march drew hundreds from out of state.
Daily protests in Elizabeth City regularly began at 5pm and took to the streets. Police would block traffic on either end of the march.
As the sun set on Elizabeth City, the 8pm curfew came into effect. Activists continued to demonstrate peacefully but in defiance of the curfew order.
Hours later, riot police forcefully arrested several protesters in Elizabeth City, North Carolina Wednesday night for defying an 8 pm curfew.
The protesters had been demanding the release of complete bodycamera footage in the police shooting death of Andrew Brown, which had been denied earlier in the day by a local judge.
“You guys are out here in riot gear when there’s been nothing but peace in Elizabeth City,” said activist Lydia McCaskill, General of the Original Black Panthers of Gastonia, North Carolina, into a megaphone a block from the police line. “It makes no sense at all! They have been peaceful! What is the point of this?”
Police approached and arrested her. While handcuffed, she yelled out that officers were charging her with “inciting a riot.” News2Share later confirmed that officers ultimately charged her with curfew violation and disorderly conduct.
There was no riot.
The protest had not involved violence or vandalism ahead of policing intervening.
“Andrew Brown! Andrew Brown!” Protesters loaded into a police bus continued to speak to the press from behind the barred window.
“They’re violating our human rights,” one said. “They’re barbaric.” “We just want them to be transparent about this bodycam footage.”
Activists returned to the streets April 29, the third day a curfew was in place, to continue demanding answers.
This time, having been informed by City Councilman Gabriel Adkins that the city would potentially loosen or eliminate the curfew if protesters did not block roadways or bridges, the group instead remained outside the public safety building as curfew began.
Riot police arrested at least four protesters as the area entered its third night of curfew.
Police formed a line and pushed back on protesters who remained past the beginning of the 8 pm curfew around 9:20 pm.
As officers pushed past alleys and backyards, they checked to make sure nobody escaped those directions. In one instance caught on camera, an officer pointed a weapon around a corner, while another unholstered his handgun as he searched the area.
They found a bag, but not a person.
“We just want justice, that’s all!” yelled an activist at the police line.
Leave now, or you will be arrested!” Officers pushed forward, grabbed a man, and pulled him away from sight behind the shield line.
A second man walked into the intersection and held his fist in the air, knowing he’d be arrested.
“Do not resist Darius, give them your hands!” a concerned woman begged from behind him. Police pulled him away and continued their push.
“Leave now or you will be arrested!” they repeated.
Some mocked the police by doing wheelies and stunts on four-wheelers and dirt bikes on the street, within view of the police but absolutely out of range of arrest.
As some of the four-wheel riders sped away past the police, an officer pulled their car out into the intersection in an apparent attempt to block them.
An occupied vehicle (at least a driver and passenger – maybe more) had been on the block the police had lined up at.
Officers surrounded the car and arrested the occupants. “We are now gonna start arresting press, y’all need to leave,” police told journalists toward the end of the night, despite the mayor and governor exempting media from curfew enforcement.
On April 30th, a Friday, the city extended the curfew to midnight. The community held a barbecue rather than a traditional protest event.
Lydia McCaskill, General of the Original Black Panthers of Gastonia, North Carolina, spoke out Friday evening following the community barbecue.
McCaskill – who was arrested Tuesday night for violating curfew during a peaceful protest – told the crowd that “we stand in solidarity” with the community.
“We’re not out here to start anything. We want to finish a horrible thing that happened to Andrew Brown. That’s it. We want answers.”
Activists with the “Suited Movement” from Virginia’s 757 region visited Elizabeth City, North Carolina on Saturday afternoon to pray and peacefully march for justice and transparency in the police shooting of Andrew Brown.
Protesters marching for the twelfth straight night demanding the release of bodycamera footage in the the police shooting death of Andrew Brown embraced his surviving family Saturday evening.
As the march continued, activists were led to the site where Brown was shot. In a somber reflection, the group saw how mud kicked up by Brown’s car as he was shot remained on the side of the house he died next to, where a mural has now been painted in his likeness.
“Get my words straight,” a representative of the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense told press and activists Saturday night.
“We’re telling Elizabeth City state officials, county officials, their government, release the goddamn tape, or we’re coming to take it.”
Prominent civil rights activist Rev. Greg Drumwright led Elizabeth city activists and the family of Andrew Brown in a march for criminal justice and policing reform Sunday afternoon.
The group continues to demand that bodycam footage be released in the shooting of Brown, which occurred nearly two weeks ago.
Brown’s young daughter attended the march wearing a shirt portraying her father with a print that read “In memory of my daddy Andrew Brown.”
Rev. Greg Drumwright and Former North Carolina State Senator Erica Smith spoke at a rally for Criminal Justice Reform memorializing Andrew Brown.
“You need to declare a state of emergency for the system of white supremacy that has kept its knees on our necks for far too long,” said Rev. Drumwright, referring to North Carolina’s “State of Emergency” declaration following the police killing of Andrew Brown.
“We have to present a unified front,” he said. “We all want justice for Andrew Brown.”