Latest North Carolina News:
DEPUTY SHOOTING-BODY CAMERA LAW
North Carolina body camera law comes under harsh glare
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina law that gives local courts authority over the release of body camera video has come under a harsh glare after a judge refused to make public footage of deputies shooting and killing Andrew Brown Jr. The 2016 law says that law enforcement video is not a public record and generally cannot be released without court approval. A judge ruled Wednesday that body camera and dashboard footage in Brown’s death must be kept from public view for at least another month to avoid harming a state investigation. The April 21 shooting happened as deputies were serving drug-related warrants at Brown’s home in Elizabeth City.
Judge won’t release videos of deputies shooting Black man
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) – A judge has denied requests to release body camera video in the case of a Black man who was killed by North Carolina deputies. The decision came Wednesday shortly after a North Carolina prosecutor said that Andrew Brown Jr. had hit law enforcement officers with his car before they opened fire. District Attorney Andrew Womble told a judge at a hearing that he viewed body camera video and disagreed with a characterization by attorneys for Brown’s family that his car was stationary when the shooting started. Womble said the video shows that Brown’s car made contact with law enforcement twice before shots could be heard on the video.
Deputy killed, K-9 shot as North Carolina standoff continues
BOONE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a North Carolina sheriff’s deputy has died and a K-9 officer has been wounded after a shooting at a home led to a continuing standoff. Watauga County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the home in the Boone area Wednesday after the homeowner and his family didn’t appear at work or answer telephone calls. A sheriff’s statement says Sgt. Chris Ward and his canine deputy were shot when they entered the home. Authorities say other deputies pulled Ward out, but he died at a hospital. The wounded dog was still in the house, condition unknown as the standoff continues.
DUKE ENERGY-HELICOPTER CRASH
Officials: 1 dead, 2 hurt in North Carolina helicopter crash
EDEN, N.C. (AP) – A Duke Energy spokesman says the pilot of a company helicopter died after the aircraft crashed in a wooded area in North Carolina. Spokesman Jeff Brooks confirmed that the pilot died in Wednesday’s crash, but didn’t identify the pilot or offer any other details. The Federal Aviation Administration says a Bell 429 helicopter crashed while the pilot was conducting power line work in Eden when the aircraft went down. The FAA says three people were aboard the helicopter, and emergency personnel says two passengers were taken to separate hospitals. An investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board was expected to arrive at the crash site on Thursday.
More data, mental health aid in NC Senate police reform bill
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Senate Republicans have unveiled a criminal justice reform package that includes databases to discourage misbehaving North Carolina law enforcement officers from remaining on the job and expanded mental health assistance for others. The measure debated in a judiciary committee Wednesday is a retooled bill developed during a time of national focus on racial inequity and officer-involved shootings of Black residents. The measure received endorsements from several law enforcement groups and the state’s local prosecutors. Some recommendations by Democrats and a task force commissioned by Gov. Roy Cooper were incorporated, but many weren’t. A committee vote could come next week.
More limits placed upon NC child marriage in Senate bill
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Minors could continue to marry in North Carolina but additional limits would be set in legislation approved by a state Senate committee. Current law allows children as young as 14 to get married. Youths who are 16 or 17 can marry with parental consent, while those 14 and 15 can marry if a pregnancy is involved and a judge signs off. The proposal approved on Wednesday would retain the current restrictions, but no one age 14 to 17 could marry a partner who is more than four years older. Some child marriage opponents still want a bill barring anyone under 18 from marrying.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
N Carolina to lift outdoor mask rule, raise gathering limits
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has decided to lift the state’s outdoor mask mandate. He is also increasing indoor and outdoor gathering limits. Starting Friday, 100 people can assemble indoors and 200 people may gather outdoors. The Democratic governor has said he hopes to further ease restrictions and possibly eliminate the mask mandate altogether if at least two-thirds of North Carolina adults are at least partially vaccinated. Nearly half of adults have gotten at least one COVID-19 shot. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says vaccinated Americans don’t need to cover their faces outside anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers.
Rep. Ted Budd enters North Carolina U.S. Senate race
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Rep. Ted Budd has announced his bid to become the state’s next U.S. Senator. He’s looking to fill an open seat being left by GOP Sen. Richard Burr. Budd presently faces competition from Republicans former Rep. Mark Walker and former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory. Budd called the Senate “the last line of defense” for Republicans and is looking to tip the chamber’s balance back in favor of Republicans. He recently met with former President Donald Trump privately and is looking to fill a void. State Sen. Jeff Jackson and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley are the top Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for the 2022 election.