News Roundup

Tragedy struck in Boone on Wednesday where two members of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office were killed during a welfare check at a home.  Keep reading for more on this story and other news.

Boone.  As the Watauga Democrat reports, Sgt. Chris Ward and K9 Deputy Logan Fox died after being shot by Isaac Alton Barnes while checking on the condition of two people who had not reported for work or responded to telephone calls from their employer.  Ward and Fox discovered the bodies of Barnes’s mother and stepfather Michelle and George Ligon upon entering the home and then were fired upon by Barnes.  Other officers were able to pull Ward out of the home and he was airlifted to the hospital, but Fox died at the scene.  An hours-long standoff ensued and ended with Barnes’s death, possibly by suicide.  News reports indicate that family members expressed some concern leading up to the incident about Barnes maintaining a large cache of weapons.

Elizabeth City.  Protests continued in Elizabeth City this week in the wake of the killing of Andrew Brown Jr. by Pasquotank County Sheriff’s deputies while attempting to serve search and arrest warrants at Brown’s home.  The case received increasing national attention through the week beginning on Monday when a scheduled viewing of body camera footage by Brown’s family and their attorneys was delayed so that certain parts of the video could be redacted.  When the viewing occurred, it featured only a 20-second clip from a single body camera despite the fact that there were multiple cameras recording the incident.

On Tuesday, Brown’s family said that independent autopsy results indicated that he was killed by a shot to the back of the head.  Some shots apparently went through the front windshield of Brown’s vehicle, and he suffered four glancing wounds to his right arm according to reports.  Also on Tuesday, the FBI announced that it had opened a civil rights investigation into the incident.

On Wednesday, pursuant to a petition from the Sheriff’s Office on behalf of Brown’s son, a superior court judge ordered that Brown’s family be permitted to see other footage from the incident, but refused to release any footage to the public for at least 30 days while investigations into Brown’s death are ongoing.  On Thursday, Sheriff Tommy Wooten announced that he had reinstated to active duty four deputies involved in the incident who did not fire their weapons.

Arbury.  USA Today reports that the U.S. Justice Department has charged three people with federal hate crimes based on their involvement in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia last year.  Travis McMichael, his father George McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan, all of whom are white, were indicted for targeting and threatening Arbery, who was Black, because of his race.  All three men already are charged with various state criminal offenses ranging from murder to attempted kidnapping.

Giuliani.  FBI agents executed search warrants early Wednesday morning at Rudolph Giuliani’s home in New York, reportedly seizing cellphones and computers.  The warrants were served as part of a criminal investigation into Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine.

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