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Wayne Kendall, one of the lawyers representing the family of Andrew Brown Jr., points to an autopsy chart showing where Brown was shot. Photo: Joe Raedle via Getty Images

The FBI confirmed Tuesday it will open a civil rights investigation into the death of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man fatally shot by sheriff's deputies in North Carolina last week.

The big picture: Police in Elizabeth City shot Brown five times, including in the back of his head, according to an independent autopsy report released by family attorneys Tuesday. The autopsy was performed Sunday by a pathologist hired by the family.

  • The attorneys also released a copy of Brown's death certificate, which cited his cause of death as a "penetrating gunshot wound of the head."

Catch up quick: Brown was killed Wednesday after police attempted to serve drug-related search and arrest warrants. Family attorneys said he was driving away with his hands on the wheel when police opened fire.

  • Brown's death prompted protests in Elizabeth City, with many calling for the release of body camera footage.
  • At a news conference on Monday, family attorneys said authorities shared 20 seconds of footage from one deputy's body camera. At least eight deputies appear in the video, attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said.
  • "They’re shooting and saying 'let me see your hands' at the same time," she added. "His car is riddled with bullets."

What they're saying: "Agents will work closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice to determine whether federal laws were violated,” an FBI spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

  • "As this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment further."

Brown family lawyers said in a statement they have "great faith that this caliber of an investigation will prevent any obscuring of the facts released to the Brown family and public, and will overcome any local bias that may prevent justice from being served."

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the statement from lawyers representing the Brown family.

Go deeper

Family attorneys: Police shot Andrew Brown Jr. in back of head as he drove away

Khalil Ferebee (center) and Jamiere Revelle (left), sons of Andrew Brown Jr., at a press conference addressing their father's death at the hands of police. Photo: Sean Rayford via Getty Images

Sheriff's deputies in North Carolina fatally shot a Black man in the back of his head, killing him as his hands were on the car's steering wheel, attorneys for the family said Monday.

What they're saying: Andrew Brown Jr. was backing up his vehicle and tried to drive away during the encounter with police, according to attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter. "He was not threatening them in any kind of fashion," she told reporters at a news conference.

Justice Department to probe Louisville's policing practices

Photo: Yalonda M. James/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

The Justice Department is opening a civil investigation into the Louisville Metro Police Department to determine if they have engaged in "violations of the Constitution or federal law," Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Monday.

Why it matters: Louisville became the center of national attention last year after police officers shot and killed Breonna Taylor in her home. Her death led to a wave of mass protests across the country.

5 mins ago - World

In shift from Netanyahu, Israel tries diplomacy with U.S. on Iran deal

Bennett (R) and Lapid. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/POOL/AFP via Getty

Israel has been trying to influence the Biden administration's approach to the Iran nuclear deal in a series of high-level meetings with U.S. officials, Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: Under former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel didn't engage with the Biden administration over the deal except to vehemently oppose it and stress that Israel wouldn't be constrained by it. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his new government also oppose the deal, but are trying to engage with the U.S. on the issue.