BRUSNWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A state trooper will not face charges for shooting and killing a man in Brunswick County on New Year’s Day.
Attorney General Josh Stein announced Friday Trooper Scott Collins’s use of force was not excessive when he shot Brandon Webster outside the Civietown Mini-Mart.
Highway Patrol says Webster drove away from the scene and later died from his injuries at Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center.
“Based on the video, audio, and witness statements, we have determined that a reasonable officer in this situation would have reasonably believed that the truck, rapidly accelerating toward him, posed an imminent threat of deadly physical force,” Stein said. “As a result, Trooper Collins’ use of force was not excessive under the circumstances.”
The announcement came around the same time the local chapter of the National Black Leadership Caucus was going to hold a news conference in Shallotte calling for Justice for Webster.
“As a former law enforcement officer myself, your first duty when you go to stop someone or arrest someone is to subdue that person, to stop that person,” said Webster’s attorney Ira Braswell. “And I’m just wondering at this point, when have we gone from just arresting someone or subduing someone, just straight to lethal force.”
A news release from Stein’s office included two videos of the incident. Braswell questions what the attorney general saw in that video.
“It did not show at any time that Brandon attempted to run Trooper Collins over, or that Trooper Collins was in any danger of being run over,” Braswell said.
Braswell, family and friends of Webster, and members of the local chapter of the National Black Leadership Caucus came out to Mulberry Park to show their support of Webster, and their disappointment in the AG’s decision.
“It really says, in one way or another, that this can continue to happen, and nothing will be done,” said Rhonda Sekhmetra, a member of the Black Leadership Caucus.
“The message it sends out is do not trust law enforcment. We do not feel safe with the current law enforcement. Our law enforcement cannot be judge jury and executioner,” said Sonya Patrick, New Hanover County Representative of the North Carolina Black Leadership Caucus.