Who is Andrew Womble? North Carolina DA says Andrew Brown killing was justified, Internet calls it 'bulls**t'
Defending the actions of three cops, Pasquotank County District Attorney (DA) Andrew Womble has courted controversy for calling the shooting of Andrew Brown 'justified'. At a press conference on May 18, Womble announced that none of the three cops involved would be charged, much to the anger of social media users.
At the conference, Womble showed the media bodycam footage from the scene of the shooting, in Elizabeth City on April 21. The clip lasts about 44 seconds, but despite the fact that Brown was shot, Womble was clear that no crime was committed. He said Brown's death, "while tragic was justified". Womble also said that the use of force was "deemed reasonably appropriate", and that the actions of the cops "were consistent with the training and fully supported under the law". Womble has quickly courted the ire of social media, with many slamming the press conference and his findings. This is everything we know about Womble, and how he ended up as the DA of Pasquotank County.
Who is Andrew Womble?
Womble has stayed out of the media spotlight, but we managed to dig up a few old interviews that gave us some insight into who he is. Womble was appointed DA in 2013 and was voted in a year later by the public. Prior to that, he was a public defender in Elizabeth City. Womble graduated from Plymouth High School in 1990 and went to University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill. He majored in business and finance before taking up an MBA at the university. He then dropped the MBA to pursue law and graduated from law school in 1996.
Fresh out of university, Womble first went into private practice in Greenville and then to Raleigh. In 1998, he returned to his hometown of Plymouth and opened a private practice with an associate. Then in 2004, Womble was appointed the first-ever public defender of District 1. He remained in that role till his appointment in 2013 as DA. He contested the role in 2014 as a Republican and won. He was reelected in 2018 after running unopposed. Womble is now planning to run for Superior Court Judge in 2022, rather than seek reelection as DA.
The North Carolina DA has courted controversy in the past as he opted to pursue the death penalty in 2018. Womble was seeking the death penalty for four prisoners charged with killing four, in what was dubbed the "deadliest prison escape attempt in the state's history". Despite it being 12 years since the state last executed someone, Womble seemed keen to pursue the penalty. "These four scream for the death penalty," he said in an interview. Eventually, one of the accused, Mikel Brady was sentenced to death.
Now, Womble is back in the news after being asked to recuse himself. On May 9, Andrew Brown's family asked the DA to step aside, in the interest of "fairness, transparency and the pursuit of justice". The family wanted Womble to recuse himself because of a "well defined" conflict of interest since Womble's office is at the Pasquotank County Sheriff's department. However, he refused to do so, saying, "I'm elected by the people of the first judicial district to do exactly this job. A special prosecutor, or outside counsel, is not accountable to the people of this judicial district. I am."
'I do not trust this DA' says Twitter
At the press conference, Womble was clear that the cops were merely defending themselves. That defense has led to a lot of angry tweets online. One person said, "I DO NOT trust this North Carolina DA Andrew Womble Jr. This case should have been turned over to the North Carolina attorney general." Another slammed him and tweeted, "The district attorney of NC Andrew Womble is a self assured cocky piece of shit. Careful now. Your hubris is showing and people are about to destroy you for it."
I DO NOT trust this North Carolina DA Andrew Womble Jr. This case should have been turned over to the North Carolina attorney general.— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) May 18, 2021
The district attorney of NC Andrew Womble is a self assured cocky piece of shit. Careful now. Your hubris is showing and people are about to destroy you for it.— Zooeymayonnaise 🏴☠️ (@zooeymayonnaise) May 18, 2021
"BREAKING: North Carolina DA Andrew Womble says the shooting of Andrew Brown Jr was justified. They shot him in the back of his head. I call BULLSHIT," tweeted one user. Another said, "White supremacy in action. Andrew Womble was always going to protect the cops thugs who executed Andrew Brown."
BREAKING: North Carolina DA Andrew Womble says the shooting of Andrew Brown Jr was justified.— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) May 18, 2021
They shot him in the back of his head. I call BULLSHIT.
White supremacy in action. Andrew Womble was always going to protect the cops thugs who executed Andrew Brown. https://t.co/kNJ4hbUV6T— Kevin Bailey (@KevBaile) May 18, 2021
"Andrew Womble doesn't sound like a competent attorney," joked one user. Another user tweeted, "Andrew Womble is biased to an unbelievable degree. #AndrewBrownJr's Family need to have the opportunity to have an independent DA look at all of the evidence. Something stinks in #NorthCarolina."
Andrew Womble doesn't sound like a competent attorney. #AndrewBrown— I'm Tired of this Panoramic (@wsucpa) May 18, 2021
The 42-year-old Brown was shot by cops who were attempting to serve him with an arrest warrant. According to CNN, Brown's family was not made aware of the findings prior to the conference. It is unclear as of now if they plan to appeal, but clearly they have the public backing to do so.