In the court of public opinion, officer shootings are judged harshly straight out of the gate. No one waits for details to come out nor bodycam to be released.
Police involved shootings have become fodder for activists to push anti-law enforcement agendas and the defund the police movement. However, jumping the gun on judgement doesn't always make you right.
North Carolina Shooting
A lot of outrage came from a police shooting in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Andrew Brown, 42, was fatally shot by sheriffs deputies on April 21.
According to WTVD, the district attorney Andrew Womble announced that the shooting was "justified." To back up his judgment, he played footage from four different body cams for a group of reporters.
In the footage you an see that Brown attempted to hit the officers with his car before they shot him. The officers, who were all in SWAT gear, had an arrest warrant for Brown as well as a search warrant. The warrants were for selling drugs to undercover officers.
In the video deputies all jump out of the truck they arrived in and fully surround the sedan Brown was in. They told him to show them his hands.
The deputies had their weapons drawn according to the footage. One of the deputies approached his door and attempted to open it.
Instead of complying with the officers, Brown puts the car into reverse and turns his wheel. He hits one of the deputies who was next to the car in the process.
He also hits the house and back porch area. Deputies again ordered him to stop and swarm the vehicle. Once again he fails to comply.
He hits the gas and another one of the deputies as he drove straight for them. The bodycam footage shows Brown still trying to get away from the officers.
No More Risk
After Brown hit one of the deputies with his vehicle, the other officers opened fire. He continues to attempt to flee.
Brown lost control of his car and slams it into a tree. When the officers reached him, they ordered him to "show me your hands" before pulling him out of the vehicle.
The officers realize that he had been shot and called for EMS to assist.
The officers did everything in their power to get Brown to comply. However, he refused and directly threatened them with his vehicle, making their actions justified.