After reading a writer’s letter to the editor titled “Womble’s claim of danger to deputies not shown,” I was reminded of a recent conversation I had with a young man pertaining to that very subject. I agreed with the letter writer.
When I viewed the video footage of the attempted arrest of Andrew Brown Jr. by Pasquotank sheriff’s deputies, the officer grabbing the door handle, or attempting to grab the door handle, of the car Mr. Brown was fleeing in didn’t seem to consider the vehicle to be a dangerous weapon.
Also, when I recently drove by the area where the incident happened and considered that the serving of warrants on Mr. Brown was a planned event, a number of questions came to mind. The first is, why weren’t vehicular barricades placed around the area? It was a small area. Law enforcement vehicles could have blocked him in. A sufficient amount of barricading vehicles could have come up at the same time as the pickup truck loaded with armed officers. They could have helped contain the vehicle Mr. Brown was fleeing in. There might have been some auto damage but a life could have been saved.
Another question is, why weren’t the city police called to assist? After all, the warrants were being served in the city even though it was a Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office operation. The Sheriff’s Office could have allowed city police to be a witness to what happened as well as provide assistance. The Sheriff’s Office has notified city law enforcement of warrants being served in the city in the past. Why not this time? Was this a “Plan B” that went wrong?
Thank God for law enforcement. We need police officers and deputies to protect and serve. But the license to kill should be used as a last resort and saving life — any life — should be the top priority. When I viewed the video footage of Brown’s attempted arrest, I did not see officers fearing for their lives from the vehicle he was driving. I truly think the officers’ emotion in this situation was not fear but anger — anger because Mr. Brown wouldn’t do what they wanted him to do. It’s said that hindsight is 20/20 but I think better foresight would have been valuable in this case.