Alamance County superior court judge Andrew “Andy” Hanford has also granted two petitions to release audio and video footage recorded by the Graham police and Alamance County sheriff’s department (see related story, this edition https://alamancenews.com/superior-court-judge-grants-release-of-video-from-oct-31-protest-that-ended-in-pepper-spray/).
Jamie Paulen, founder of Paulen Solidarity Law, filed two separate petitions late last year to obtain recordings by the Graham police department following an altercation near the 6 to 1 Mini Mart at 201 West Harden Street in Graham last August. Sandrea Warren Brazee, 53, of Burlington, was charged on August 22, 2020 with felony assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly trying to run down two 12-year-old girls with her truck near the mini mart.
Brazee was convicted in December on two counts of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon because an extensive investigation by the district attorney’s office had revealed that the evidence was insufficient to get a conviction on the felony-level charges, Alamance County district attorney Sean Boone explained in earlier interview with The Alamance News.
John M. Dunlow, a retired visiting superior court judge from Granville County, presided over an initial hearing in December on the petition that Paulen filed on behalf of Faith Cook of Graham, whom Paulen described as “the parent of the child against whom the crime was committed.” Cook, for her part, has been a frequent participant in numerous “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations in downtown Graham since June 2020 and was charged misdemeanor riot during a protest outside the Alamance County jail following a march and rally in Graham on October 31. That charge remains pending in Alamance County criminal district court, according to the court file.
During both of the hearings on the petition, Paulen told Dunlow and Hanford that the Graham police department had provided video recordings but it had been for the wrong date. Dunlow had suggested that Paulen contact the police department to obtain recordings from the correct date, but continued the case “so we could come back and say whether Graham had complied or not,” Paulen told Hanford during the latest hearing on the petition.
“Basically they don’t understand what I’m asking for, and the order from the court needs to be very specific,” Paulen told Hanford during a video-conference hearing early last month. “The statute says the parent of a minor whose image is contained on video is permitted to have access to that video footage.” She was seeking the release of any video footage involving the minor being interviewed, and that a Graham police officer had said “that video does exist,” Paulen told Hanford.
Hanford asked Paulen to draft an order for the release of the recordings, which he said he’d be happy to sign. He had told the attorney that no order had been included in the court file.
Hanford also granted a petition that Paulen had filed for another one of her clients, Regis Kishon Green, a 28-year-old black male of 4600 University Drive in Durham. That petition was seeking the release of audio and/or video footage recorded by the Alamance County sheriff’s department during an uproar at a county commissioners meeting in November that led to the arrests of Green and two other individuals.
The sheriff’s department charged Green on November 16, 2020 with misdemeanor resisting a police officer; misdemeanor disorderly conduct in a public building; and disrupting an official meeting, according to Alamance County criminal district court files.
Paulen told Hanford during the hearing on Green’s petition that her client “has been charged with a criminal offense and thinks that he’s been wrongfully charged,” prompting her to file the petition to review the evidence against him.
Hanford said that the sheriff’s department had provided video footage surrounding Green’s November 16 arrest to him in early December, which he was “prepared to disclose with the understanding that [Paulen] would retain the information in her possession.
“It’s not to be disseminated through public means but it is available for your viewing,” Hanford warned the attorney during their video conference last month. The flash drive containing the recordings were submitted “under seal” and would be placed in the custody of the clerk of court’s office for Paulen to retrieve, he said.