Three months and four days after Brandon Tate-Brown was fatally shot by police after a traffic stop while allegedly running for a gun, D.A. Seth Williams announced that his office found no grounds to file charges against the officers who fired on Tate-Brown.
“While this was a terrible tragedy, a great tragedy, it wasn’t a crime,” Williams said Thursday. “It’s not a case of an unarmed man running from his vehicle and being executed by police.”
Joined by members of the clergy, law enforcement and city officials, Williams showed video to media of 26-year-old Tate-Brown’s traffic stop on the 6600 block of Frankford Avenue in Mayfair in the early morning hours of Dec. 15.
While dark and grainy, the footage clearly shows Tate-Brown struggle with the two 15th District officers who pulled him over before he was shot.
D.A. Williams spent an hour going over the evidence in the case, saying that civilian witnesses backed up police accounts that Tate-Brown was running to the passenger door of the rental Dodge Charger he was driving, near where officers say they had spotted a gun, when they fatally shot him in the head.
“I don’t want people rioting in our streets. There may be times where it’s appropriate for people to riot in the street. I want Philadelphians to know that this isn’t that case. If you want to mourn the loss of Brandon Tate-Brown’s life, that is more than appropriate. It is a tragedy,” Williams said. “All of us would like to go and put a calming hand on all of those individuals at 2:46 a.m. to prevent what happened.”
But at another press conference hours later, Tate-Brown’s mother Tanya Dickerson and her lawyer Brian Mildenberg asserted that they viewed a surveillance video that shows Tate-Brown shot near the back right of the car — not near the door.
“I saw my son nowhere near the right side,” Dickerson said. “I gotta keep reliving it. Just tell us everything. Show the public everything. It’s killing me. Show them what I saw.”
Dickerson has not filed any lawsuit against the police department, but is still demanding that police release all surveillance footage of the shooting, as well as the names of the officers involved in the shooting.
“I believe that the police department has made statements about this case that have turned out not to be true,” Mildenberg said — referring to why the car was pulled over, and what Tate-Brown was doing at the time he was shot.
“The only mistake my cousin made was driving while black,” said activist Asa Khalif, who is related to Tate-Brown. “We will not stop protesting. We will not stop asking for the names of the two police officers. We will not stop simply because Seth Williams decided he will not file charges against these two officers.”
Fifteen arrests were reported Thursday evening after a protest at a Philadelphia policing town hall event at the Lawncrest Recreation Center attended by Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and D.A. Williams, NBC reported.