ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — An Elizabeth City council member says surveillance footage at a funeral home he owns captured a deputy in uniform urinating on the property, which he believes is an act of retaliation for joining protests after Andrew Brown Jr.’s shooting.
Deputies shot the 42-year-old Black man to death outside his home on April 21 while attempting to serve drug-related search and arrest warrants.
Council member Gabriel Adkins, who is Black, posted a video of the Saturday night urination incident on Facebook. In the one-minute clip, a man in uniform exits a vehicle and appears to urinate on a shed.
Adkins said the funeral home surveillance system also captured a deputy urinating on the property the previous night.
“I’m completely furious that any member of the sheriff department would think these acts are acceptable,” Adkins said in an email to The Washington Post. “This is a funeral home. A place where we house family’s loved ones. I have lost all trust and respect for our sheriff department.”
Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten said in a statement that a deputy working the night shift used the outdoor area of the funeral home as a restroom after conducting a routine safety check.
“The deputy, who is Black, didn’t know who owned the business and meant no disrespect to Mr. Adkins and has reached out to apologize to him,” Wooten said. “I’ve reinforced to all deputies the need to respect the community and avoid even the appearance of anything that could be seen as disrespectful.”
On April 28, a judge refused to release body camera video showing deputies shooting and killing Brown, ruling that making the video public at this stage could jeopardize the investigation. A prosecutor played portions of the video during a news conference Tuesday.
Adkins has attended and organized protests through the streets of Elizabeth City after Brown’s death. Marchers have demanded that the sheriff’s office release the full video of the shooting and an independent investigation be conducted.
The second-term council member told The News & Observer that Pasquotank deputies regularly provided escorts at his funerals before Brown’s death, but none were provided when they were requested twice afterward.
“Since this case with Andrew Brown, I’ve been out protesting,” Adkins said. “I really feel like they are retaliating back against me. Maybe they didn’t know I had surveillance, but it’s a funeral home.”