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Elizabeth City Officials Impose Permit Requirement, Push Curfew For Protests Over Andrew Brown Jr.'s Shooting

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Will Michaels
/
WUNC
Tony Riddick of Hertford addresses protesters at a gathering in Elizabeth City, N.C. on Wed. April 28, 2021. “[The shooting of Andrew Brown] is a direct result of white supremacy,” he said.

A North Carolina city where a Black man was shot and killed by deputies said Friday that it will push its curfew back by several hours each night after a week of generally peaceful protests.

Elizabeth City officials said that starting Friday night, the curfew will run from midnight until 6 a.m. On previous nights, the curfew had taken effect at 8 p.m. Protesters have been demanding justice and transparency, including the release of deputy body camera footage, after Andrew Brown Jr. was shot and killed last week by deputies serving drug-related warrants.

Protests have been generally peaceful, but some protesters have been arrested after they remained on the streets after the curfew went into effect.

Officials in Elizabeth City have also imposed a permit requirement for protests.

Kristi Graunke, legal director for the ACLU of North Carolina, said the new public assembly permit raises serious First Amendment concerns.

"It doesn't even approach the kinds of reasonable time, place and manner restrictions that, you know, might be allowable in some circumstances," Graunke said.

City officials have not responded to WUNC's requests for comment.

WITN-TV reported that Thursday night's protest had largely dwindled by 10:45 p.m., but at least two people were arrested. The television station was also among multiple media outlets that said staff members covering the protest were threatened with arrest despite city and county leaders saying journalists doing their jobs were exempt from the curfew.

A judge earlier this week refused to make deputy body camera footage public despite formal requests from a media coalition and the sheriff. He said it should be kept from public view for at least another month while a state investigation into the shooting takes place. The FBI has also launched a civil rights investigation of Brown's death.
Brown's funeral is scheduled for Monday.

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