Black politician who spoke out over Andrew Brown shooting says police responded by urinating on his property

·3 min read
Elizabeth City Councilman Gabriel Adkins leads demonstrators on a march through Andrew Brown Jr.’s neighborhood on Thursday, April 29, 2021. (AP)
Elizabeth City Councilman Gabriel Adkins leads demonstrators on a march through Andrew Brown Jr.’s neighborhood on Thursday, April 29, 2021. (AP)

Elizabeth City council member Gabriel Adkins has said that police urinated on his property twice after he spoke out concerning the police killing of Black man Andrew Brown Jr.

Mr Brown, 42, was shot dead by police as they executed an arrest warrant on drug charges in the coastal North Carolina town on 21 April.

A district attorney in North Carolina said the shooting was justified. District Attorney Andrew Womble made the judgement on Tuesday after reviewing the results of a probe carried out by the state’s Bureau of Investigation.

Prosecutors said the shooting was justified because Mr Brown hit officers with his vehicle before he was shot. But Mr Brown’s family and legal team said a “snippet” of body camera footage depicted an “execution”.

An autopsy initiated by the family showed that Mr Brown was shot five times, once in the back of the head. Three officers have been suspended as an investigation is conducted.

Hours after the shooting, Mr Adkins said: “As a Black man sitting here tonight, I’m afraid. I’m afraid that I may be the next one, you know.”

After joining in with protests demanding that footage of the killing be released, Mr Adkins said security footage from a funeral home he owns shows an officer in uniform urinating on his property twice last week.

“I’m completely furious that any member of the sheriff department would think these acts are acceptable,” Mr Adkins told The Washington Post. “This is a funeral home. A place where we house family’s loved ones. I have lost all trust and respect for our sheriff department.”

News of the video was first reported by the Raleigh News & Observer.

Mr Adkins, a second-term councilman, owns a funeral home, a catering firm, and a business involved in tax and financial services.

He has both organized and attended protests demanding that all footage of the incident be released by the sheriff’s office.

Mr Adkins now argues that his activism has led to reprisals from the police. According to The Post, an unreleased video from Friday shows an officer urinating on his funeral home property.

The video Mr Adkins has publicised is from Saturday. It shows a police vehicle with blinking lights parking in front of a shed and a garage that Mr Adkins said he uses to house his hearses.

A man in a police uniform can be seen in the footage walking between the shed and garage, then appears to urinate with his back to the camera.

“Since this case with Andrew Brown, I’ve been out protesting,” Mr Adkins told the News & Observer. “I really feel like they are retaliating back against me. Maybe they didn’t know I had surveillance, but it’s a funeral home.”

He told the paper that the police department has previously contributed escorts to his funeral business, but now hasn’t responded to two of his requests since the death of Mr Brown. He said he plans to take legal action.

“I’m just getting real worried I might be the next target, or they’re trying to set me up,” Mr Adkins told the News & Observer. “On top of it being a crime.”

The Independent has reached out to the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office for comment.

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