ANDREW WOMBLE: "The facts in this case demonstrate the presence of apparent dangers to the officers."
A North Carolina district attorney said on Tuesday he would not bring criminal charges for the fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. a Black man killed last month by sheriff's deputies, saying the killing was justified because he endangered the lives of the officers by driving toward them.
Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble: "Mr. Brown's death while tragic was justified, because Brown's actions caused three deputies with the Pasquotank County Sheriff's office to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others."
Deputies tried to arrest Brown last month on suspicion of selling illegal drugs.
Womble said deputies arrived that morning to find Brown sitting in his car, talking on the phone.
They surrounded the car, ordering him to show his hands and attempting to open the car door.
He played excerpts of video from the deputies' body-worn cameras, which he said showed that Brown rapidly backed up, pulling a deputy over the car hood.
"When the officers approached Brown with their guns drawn, his response was to maneuver his car and flee. Brown was undeterred by the officers yelling for him to stop, show me your hands or by Deputy Lunsford attempting to open the driver's door. Even after backing into a corner with no escape, but to maneuver his vehicle directly at officers, Brown continued the felonious assault by using his vehicle as a deadly weapon and made contact a second time with Deputy Lunsford. Law enforcement officers particularly Deputy Lunsford were on foot and directly in the path of the vehicle operated by Brown."
Police began firing at the car. Brown suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder and a fatal shot to the back of his head.
Lawyers for Brown's family previously described his death as an execution. Reporters at the news conference questioned the prosecutor, saying the video looked as if Brown had actually turned his car away from the officer.
The killing captured national attention, coming a day after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd in a highly publicized trial, and fueled the debate of police treatment of Black Americans.