The family members of Brandon Tate-Brown want the police officer who killed their son taken off the street; Brown was killed by police after a traffic stop turned into a street fight. Now the family wants the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office to re-open the investigation into his death.
But Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams rejected that request, saying the death of Brandon Tate Brown was a tragedy, but not a criminal act.
“Brandon Tate-Brown was not reaching for a gun in the passenger side front door when he was shot and killed by a Philadelphia police officer,” Brian Mildenberg the lawyer representing Tate-Brown’s family in a lawsuit against the city said in a statement.
Police have said 15th District officers Nicholas Carrelli and Heng Dang in a squad car pulled Tate-Brown over around 2:45 a.m. on Dec. 15 for driving without his lights on. During the stop, one of the officers noticed a gun tucked between the driver’s seat and the center console.
A violent struggle ensued, some of it captured on blurry surveillance cameras in the area.
Police initially said that Tate-Brown “forced his way back to his vehicle and attempted to retrieve the gun,” when cops fatally shot him.
But Mildenberg has been saying since at least February that surveillance video showed Tate-Brown being shot before he reached the window.
New documents released by the city confirm that account. The surveillance video shows Tate-Brown was shot as he rounded the rear of the car.
Mildenberg says the differing accounts point a cover-up.
Witness accounts and interviews with the officers, however, indicate that Tate-Brown had tried to reach back into the car on two occasions before being shot.
But police say the discrepancy was the result of a rush to offer details of the case to the media.
A hand drawn map of the shooting scene, signed by Carelli, was also included in the document release. It shows Tate-Brown’s body as having fallen near the rear passenger side of his car. That map was drawn in March.