The officers concerned in the lethal shooting of a black motorist during an attempted arrest will not face criminal charges.
The Elizabeth City district attorney told reporters the shooting of 42 years-old Andrew Brown was justified.
Officials say during the 44-second encounter, Mr Brown drove his car to the police. However, Mr Brown’s family say that he was executed. Moreover, he was shot five times, including in the back, according to a private post mortem report.
But on Tuesday, authorities said that Mr Brown was shot twice. One-shot was in his shoulder and the other in the back of his head. Adding further, they said that the other injuries were shrapnel wounds.
His death on 21 April sparked protests against police brutality. Moreover, it comes at a time of heightened scrutiny over the use of police force on African Americans.
In a news conference, district attorney Andrew Womble said, Mr Brown posed an immediate threat to the safety of officers. Adding he said using his car as a deadly weapon, he ignored the commands and tried to evade the arrest.
Police in full tactical gear had gone to Elizabeth City, at Mr Brown’s home to serve drug charges and arrest. Mr Womble added, and they could not simply have let him go as has been suggested.
Further, Mr Womble added that Mr Brown was a drug dealer and had sold heroin and cocaine laced with fentanyl.
Statement from district attorney
The district attorney said the Pasquotank County officers involved in the arrest had been briefed on his criminal history beforehand. They were also aware of the conviction for assault and resisting the arrest.
He also said Mr Brown was not usually known to carry weapons with him. Hence, there were no weapons in the vehicle at the time of the search.
During the news conference on Tuesday, bodycam footage of the shooting was projected onto a screen behind Mr Womble.
Reacting to the conference, the lawyer of the Brown’s family said it was both an insult and a slap on the face. The Brown family has denied the footage shown and claims that Mr Andrew Brown was executed.
Last month the FBI said it had opened a civil rights investigation to the incident to determine any violation of federal laws.