Andrew Brown Jr: Who are Daniel Meads, Robert Morgan and Aaron Lewellyn? Sheriff identifies cops who shot NC man
Deputies with the Pasquotank Sheriff’s Office dressed in tactical gear, drove down a residential street and arrived at a home in Elizabeth City where shots were heard moments later
ELIZABETH CITY, NORTH CAROLINA: Pasquotank County Sheriff’s office has released names of seven deputies involved in the shooting of Andrew Brown Jr in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Earlier, seven officers were placed on leave as a result of the shooting. While four of these officers have been cleared after an investigation, three officers — Investigator Daniel Meads, Deputy Sheriff II Robert Morgan and Corp Aaron Lewellyn have not been cleared.
Around 8.30 am on April 21, deputies with the Pasquotank Sheriff’s Office, dressed in tactical gear, drove down a residential street and arrived at a home in Elizabeth City. Moments later, several shots were fired at Brown.
Footage of the shooting from a deputy’s body camera was released to Brown’s family and their lawyer, who called it an “execution”. A private autopsy, paid for by his family, reportedly showed that he was hit by five bullets and killed by a shot to the head.
The family’s lawyer said that Brown was sitting inside his car, hands “firmly on the wheel,” when gunshots were fired. He did not appear to be holding a weapon and was driving away as the police continued to shoot. Prosecutors, however, have said the footage showed that Brown was trying to escape and that his car struck deputies, who then began shooting.
Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten said on Thursday, April 29, that three of the seven officers fired their weapons while serving a search and arrest warrant at Brown’s Elizabeth City home.
Who are Investigator Daniel Meads, Deputy Sheriff II Robert Morgan and Corp Aaron Lewellyn?
While four of the seven — Lt Steve Judd, Sgt Michael Swindell, Sgt Kendall Bishop and Sgt Joel Lunsford have been cleared after a follow-up investigation determined they did not fire their weapons and “and deserve to be reinstated to active duty”, the above-mentioned three have not.
"After reviewing the preliminary conclusions of the independent investigators conducting the internal review, and after carefully examining the body camera footage of the incident with my own staff, it's obvious that four of the deputies never fired their weapons and deserve to be reinstated to active duty," Wooten said.
“More investigation is necessary into the three deputies who did fire their weapons and they will remain on administrative leave pending completion of the internal investigation and/or the criminal investigation being conducted by the State Bureau of Investigation,” Wooten added.
Meads is reportedly a five-year veteran of the department. Morgan has been with the department for four years and Lewellyn for only two. The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into Brown's death. Governor Roy Cooper has called for a special prosecutor to handle the case.
“I promised the citizens of this county I would be transparent and accountable in this matter. I have been,” Wooten said in his statement. “I asked the court to make the body camera footage public. I insisted on outside investigations to ensure impartiality. And now I’m releasing the names of the deputies on the scene. I’ll continue to be transparent whenever I can — without interfering in the independent investigations.”