A fatal officer involved shooting in Roxboro last Friday has been in the news this week, setting off several days of demonstrations in the city and generating divided opinions about whether the use of deadly force was appropriate in the situation. As ABC 11 reports, Roxboro police officers responded to a 911 call reporting that a man, later identified as David Brooks Jr., was walking down the street carrying a gun. Dash camera footage shows that the officers encountered Brooks, who was carrying a shotgun, and ordered him to drop the weapon. Soon thereafter, an officer shot Brooks once in the chest, possibly after Brooks made a movement with the shotgun. The SBI now is investigating the incident. Keep reading for more on this story and other news.
Brooks. In the days immediately following Brooks’s death, there were several days of demonstrations in Roxboro, with people calling for transparency in the investigation and criticizing the decision to use lethal force. Dash camera footage of the shooting was released on Wednesday, and generated competing opinions (here and here) about whether the shooting was justified. The footage does show that Brooks was armed when officers encountered him and did not immediately drop his gun, but it also shows that only about 15 seconds elapsed between the officers’ arrival on the scene and the firing of the fatal shot.
Neville. Earlier this month, the News Roundup noted the death of John Neville while he was detained at the Forsyth County Detention Center and associated demonstrations taking place in Winston-Salem. This week the Winston-Salem Journal reported that Neville’s family decided to support the release of security camera footage showing the circumstances surrounding his death. The family previously opposed the release of the footage because they wanted to protect the privacy of their grieving process.
A hearing on the issue was held in Forsyth County Superior Court this week, with the family, Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough, and news organizations supporting public release while Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill and defense attorneys for detention center staff charged with involuntary manslaughter opposed making the footage public because of concerns about affecting the fairness of any trials that may take place. A ruling on whether the footage will be released had not been made at the time of this writing.
Frost Plea. The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that former Buncombe County Commissioner Ellen Frost has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in her federal corruption case arising from her alleged misappropriation of taxpayer funds for equestrian pursuits. Frost had been scheduled to go to trial on various fraud charges in mid-August. Under the agreement, she will enter a guilty plea to a single count of conspiracy to commit federal program fraud and prosecutors are recommending that she be sentenced to home confinement.
Trooper Pays it Forward. WRAL reported this week that a state trooper working in Johnston County went out of his way to help a family who were stranded on their way to Duke Neurology when a tire on their vehicle blew out. After arriving to assist Monica Hines and her family, Trooper Colby Pridgen paid to have the failed tire replaced and installed it onto the vehicle. Noticing that the other tires were worn, Pridgen purchased three additional tires for Hines along with a full tank of gas. Pridgen said that earlier in the day he had been the recipient of someone else’s act of kindness and felt compelled to pay it forward.