In a funeral that served as each a celebration of life and a condemnation of racist policing in America, the household of Andrew Brown Jr. was joined in Elizabeth City, N.C., on Monday by the relations of different Black males killed by law enforcement officials.
Speaking to Mr. Brown’s sons, Eric Garner’s grandmother provided her love and friendship. George Floyd’s sister mentioned she shared their ache. Daunte Wright’s sister mentioned she was outraged.
Mr. Brown, 42, was killed by Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies on April 21 whereas they tried to arrest him throughout a drug raid. But many particulars of the capturing stay unclear, and final week a North Carolina decide declined to publicly launch the physique digital camera footage for at the least 30 days.
Other company on the funeral, together with the Rev. Al Sharpton and Ben Crump, a lawyer for the household, in contrast the killing of Mr. Brown to the deaths of a number of different Black folks by the hands of law enforcement officials, from Mr. Floyd to Breonna Taylor.
“Here we are again,” mentioned Bakari Sellers, a lawyer and former South Carolina state consultant. “To many people this is just another Black body, but to us it’s a brother, a father, a nephew, a loved one.”
The funeral largely served as a name to motion, although a few of Mr. Brown’s members of the family used the event to recollect him as a loving father, or a cousin to look as much as.
Jha’rod Ferebee, certainly one of his sons, mentioned that his father was his “best friend” and that “every time you seen me, you seen him.” Khalil Ferebee, one other son, mentioned that the circumstances of the gathering had been grim, however that Mr. Brown would have cherished to see a few of his favourite folks gathered collectively.
“He would have loved this,” Khalil Ferebee mentioned. “I just wish he was here with us. As much as I’m going to wish and wish and wish all day, it’s not going to happen.”
Mr. Brown was killed in the future after a Minneapolis jury convicted the previous police officer Derek Chauvin of murdering Mr. Floyd. During Mr. Brown’s funeral, his dying was put alongside a listing of names relationship way back to Emmett Till, a 14-year-old who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955.
“We thought that George Floyd represented that we were going to stop this unnecessary, unjustifiable killings of Black men,” mentioned Mr. Crump, who can also be representing Mr. Floyd’s household.
Mr. Crump continued to demand the total launch of physique digital camera footage — the household has been proven a 20-second clip — that would shine mild on Mr. Brown’s dying. He was shot 5 instances and killed by a shot to the pinnacle, in accordance with a non-public post-mortem.
City-owned video that was obtained by WAVY, a Virginia-based tv station, confirmed that deputies with the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office had been wearing tactical gear earlier than they pulled into Mr. Brown’s driveway. Seven deputies had been initially positioned on administrative depart.
During the funeral on Monday, the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, the previous president of the North Carolina N.A.A.C.P., advised Mr. Brown’s household to take consolation within the stage of consideration and help from throughout the nation. Protesters have repeatedly gathered in Elizabeth City since his dying.
“Andrew got brothers and sisters, white, Black, brown, Asian, gay, straight — all of them coming together,” Dr. Barber mentioned. “I want you to be comforted in that.”
Mr. Sharpton mentioned the failure to launch the physique digital camera footage was a “shell game,” and referred to as on the Justice Department to research the capturing and the perceived lack of transparency within the case.
“The challenge of these times is how we’re going to deal with policing in America,” he mentioned, including, “I know a con game when I see it; release the whole tape and let the folks see what happened to Andrew Brown.”