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Extra police presence costs Elizabeth City a hefty bill since Andrew Brown Jr. death

Elizabeth City city manager Montre Freeman said overtime, lodging and meals for law enforcement costs $221,000 since protests about Brown's death began April 21.

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — As relatives of Andrew Brown Jr. and their attorneys privately watched video of his death, protesters waited outside the Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday.

A judge allowed Brown's family to view roughly 19 minutes of footage from four body-worn cameras and a dash camera recorded during the April 21 incident.

Pasquotank County Sheriff's deputies shot and killed Brown while serving an arrest warrant related to felony drug charges. Until Tuesday, his relatives had only seen 20 seconds of one video. 

In all, there are almost two hours of recordings combined on the devices, according to a court order filed last week. Judge Jeffrey Foster ruled Brown's family and attorneys would only be able to watch portions that displayed him.

Upon watching the videos, attorneys for the Brown family called it an "unjustified killing."

"Say his name! Andrew Brown!" shouted protesters Tuesday afternoon.

Protesters have marched in Elizabeth City all but one night since Brown's death. The city remains under a state of emergency, though a midnight curfew has been lifted.

Protests have remained peaceful but have consistently blocked or slowed traffic. Extra police patrols have been needed to maintain safety and redirect traffic, said Elizabeth City City Manager Montre Freeman.

Freeman added that overtime, lodging, and food expense for law enforcement costs $221,000 since Brown's death.

Under the emergency order, signed by Elizabeth City Mayor Bettie Parker, the city received assistance for outside law enforcement agencies, particularly to assist in maintaining an established curfew which last over a week. 

Freeman said the city has not been responsible for paying for the services of outside departments, but it agreed to foot the bill for food and lodging.

Freeman has not seen the video of Brown's shooting, and prior to the family's viewing, he said the community wants what is best of the family.

“I don’t know what to expect because I have not seen any of that footage," he said. "And I can’t even imagine what’s on that footage, and I just hope they get what they need from that.”

Tuesday, Pasquotank County Administrator Sparty Hammett confirmed he closed downtown offices early. Several county facilities, including the library, closed at 2 p.m., ahead of the family's scheduled viewing of the tapes at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Hammett said he, along with the county board commissioner, anticipated a large media presence in the main employee parking lot and made the decision.

Freeman said he would not close city offices early, though the city remains in a state of emergency.

In expectation of continued protests, he is coordinating with police and fire to redirect traffic and ensure emergency calls do not go unanswered.

However, protesters are still required to sign permits, a move seen as controversial by many in the community.

“It’s the right thing to do," said "It allows me to streamline those police resources because every time these happen there is a cost to it.”

Freeman said there are 77 police officers in Elizabeth City, and several officers had worked at least 14 consecutive days.

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