Andrew Brown Jr. remembered at funeral

By Mike Hayes, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 2:43 p.m. ET, May 3, 2021
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1:47 p.m. ET, May 3, 2021

Son of Andrew Brown Jr.: "We were like best friends"

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos and Mark Morales

Gerry Broome/AP
Gerry Broome/AP

Jha’rod Ferebee, one of Andrew Brown Jr.'s sons, said his father was his best friend and they were constantly together.

“Me and my dad we were like best friends. Every time you see him you see me and every time you see me you see him.” Jha’rod Ferebee said. “I remember growing up, couldn’t nobody tell me nothing wrong with my daddy.”

Jha’rod said he knew although his father was not present physically, he knew he was with them Monday. 

“It’s crazy what’s going on right now and I love my daddy to death. He’s here though he’s definitely here though,” Ferebee said.

Brown was shot to death April 21 when Pasquotank sheriff’s deputies attempted to execute warrants.

Watch:

1:37 p.m. ET, May 3, 2021

Rev. Al Sharpton calls on Congress to pass police reform bill

Gerry Broome/AP
Gerry Broome/AP

Speaking at Andrew Brown Jr.'s funeral, Rev. Al Sharpton said "the challenge of these times" is to "deal with policing in America."

He said that the killing of Black people by police in America "must stop, enough is enough."

He also called on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Sharpton said the "times call for a policing act."

He noted that multiple police officers testified against Derek Chauvin at trial, adding, "even the police are tired of making excuses."

Sharpton said it's time for the "wrong police to pay the price." He said that everyone is "subject to the law" whether you wear "blue jeans or blue uniforms."

1:28 p.m. ET, May 3, 2021

Brown's son: "I just wish he was here"

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

Khalil Ferebee
Khalil Ferebee Gerry Broome/AP

Khail Ferebee, the eldest son of Andrew Brown Jr., remembered his father during today's funeral service.

"It’s a terrible way that we had to be together like this, but, you know seeing everybody, I’m glad we’re together like this right now," he said.

"He would've loved this. I just wish he was here with us. As much as I'm going to wish and wish, wish all day, it's not going to happen," Ferebee said during his emotional remarks.

"All I got to do for myself and my family, we just got to hold him down. Do what he would want us to do in life. I love you pops," he said.

Watch:

1:32 p.m. ET, May 3, 2021

Relative of Andrew Brown Jr.: "We're going to stand strong for him"

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

Pool
Pool

Sandra White, a relative of Andrew Brown Jr., spoke on behalf of Brown's sons. She remembered Brown as a good father who was trying to do what was best for his family.

"I do know him as a very good person, did nobody no harm," White said during Brown's funeral in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

White called for strength in the community. "We're here for Andrew. We're going to stand strong for him," she said.

"Now, Andrew is resting, but he left some fighters and he left pro-warriors to do his bidding... God has already prepared us to carry on the fight for justice. Justice will prevail," White said.

"God used Andrew just like he used George Floyd for him to spread his word and for him to fight for his people," White said.

1:17 p.m. ET, May 3, 2021

Andrew was "the coolest," Brown's relative says 

Elton Ferebee, a relative of Andrew Brown Jr., said that he was "the coolest cousin" while speaking during the funeral.

Ferebee said that about two months ago his girlfriend convinced him to go get a pedicure. He said that he posted a photo on Facebook and that Andrew reached out and told him "I'm getting my feet done, too."

Ferebee said it "made me feel better" about getting a pedicure since his "coolest, toughest cousin" was also doing it.

 

1:47 p.m. ET, May 3, 2021

Attorney Ben Crump says Brown was killed "unjustifiably" and demands police body-cam video be released

Gerry Broome/AP
Gerry Broome/AP

Brown family attorney Ben Crump said "it was literally hours" after the guilty verdict was announced in the Derek Chauvin trial in the killing of George Floyd that he received a call from the family about Andrew Brown Jr.'s death.

"We could barely celebrate," Crump said, speaking at the funeral for Andrew Brown.

Crump continued: "We thought that George Floyd represented we were going to stop these unjustified killings of Black men."

He said that Brown was killed "unjustifiably." He said that they "demand" that all the police video footage be released.

"It is up to us to make the plea for justice," Crump said.

Watch:

12:29 p.m. ET, May 3, 2021

Family of Andrew Brown Jr. begins procession into funeral

From CNN’ Mark Morale, Devon Sayers, and Gregory Lemos

The family of Andrew Brown Jr. has arrived at the Fountain of Life Church in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

Lined up outside the church as a plane with a banner reading “Andrew Brown, Jr. Never Forget," the family began filing in wearing shirts that say “Long Live Drew” with Brown’s picture on it. 

The back of the shirts also has a picture of Brown and reads “Gone but never forgotten.”

Two young children have processed inside the church holding an adult’s hand wearing shirts that read “RIP Dad” on the front with a picture of Brown.

Brown’s closed metallic casket sits in front of the stage inside the church. 

Brown was shot to death April 21 when Pasquotank sheriff’s deputies attempted to execute warrants.

12:23 p.m. ET, May 3, 2021

NOW: The funeral for Andrew Brown Jr. is underway

Andrew Brown Jr.'s funeral is now underway at a Fountain of Life Church in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

Members of Brown's family and attorney Benjamin Crump are expected to speak, along with the Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights leader, who will deliver the eulogy.

11:37 a.m. ET, May 3, 2021

Where things stand in the Andrew Brown Jr. case 

From CNN's Dakin Andone

Courtesy Ben Crump Law
Courtesy Ben Crump Law

Authorities have released few details about what led to the shooting on April 21, when Andrew Brown Jr. was fatally shot by Pasquotank County deputies who were trying to execute a warrant. An independent autopsy commissioned by Brown's family and their attorneys said Brown suffered five gunshot wounds — four to the right arm and one to the back of his head.

State law requires a court order for the release of body camera footage. A North Carolina judge ruled last Wednesday that Brown's family would be allowed to see body camera footage of the shooting, but the videos would not be made public for 30 days.

Earlier in the week, Brown's family was able to view a short snippet of footage, about 20 seconds long, which a family attorney said depicted an "execution."

Only two family members, including Brown's son, Khalil Ferebee, were able to see the footage along with legal representatives, Harry Daniels, one of the family's attorneys told CNN on Sunday.

The family and the district attorney have given different accounts of what occurred, with the latter saying in a court hearing last week that deputies fired when the car Brown was driving made contact with law enforcement. But the family and their attorneys said Brown was driving away to save his life.

The shooting is under investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. The FBI has also opened a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting, according to the bureau's Charlotte field office.

"I want y'all to hear the pain in this community. The pain, the yelling that y'all hear, the agony that y'all hear — this is pain," family attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said in a news conference last Tuesday. "And a lot of time pain is interpreted as rebellion or whatever people want to interpret it as. Call it what it is. It's painful for this family. It's painful for this community."

Brown's funeral service today follows those of at least two other Black people killed in encounters with law enforcement in recent weeks: Daunte Wright and Ma'Khia Bryant.