Philadelphia officers not charged in fatal shooting of Brandon Tate-Brown

Cousin: The only mistake my cousin made was driving while black in the city of Philadelphia

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VIDEO: Protests over Brandon Tate-Brown case disrupt town hall
A group disrupted a town hall meeting in Lawncrest, protesting a decision by the district attorney on the Brandon Tate-Brown case.

MAYFAIR (WPVI) -- The fatal shooting of a motorist by police during an overnight traffic stop in December was a tragedy but not a crime, Philadelphia's district attorney said Thursday.

"The facts show a tragedy, a terrible tragedy, but not a crime," DA Seth Williams Williams said at a news conference.

At 2:45 a.m. on December 15 of last year, Brandon Tate-Brown was pulled over by the police in city's Mayfair section.

The police say he didn't have his headlights on, just the daytime running lights.

Police say one of the two officers spotted a gun wedged between the passenger seat and the center console.

They ordered him out of the car and that's when he allegedly started struggling with the officers.

It was captured on grainy video surveillance.

Police say Tate-Brown eventually broke free and tried to get his gun and that's when one of the officers shot him once in the head.

"This was not the case of an unarmed man shot while running away. It's a case of a struggle and of Mr. Brandon Tate-Brown's attempt to get his illegal gun," Williams said.

Williams says the gun had been stolen and had Tate-Brown's DNA on it.

Tate-Brown's family says they saw a different video than the one Williams showed the media today.

They say video they've seen shows Tate-Brown at the back of the car when he was shot, not reaching in through the open passenger door.

"I saw my son nowhere near the right side and he never got to open the right side of that car door," Tate-Brown's mother Tanya Dickerson said.

Brandon Tate-Brown was a convicted felon and had served 5 years for shooting someone.

If he had an illegal handgun in his car, he might have been sent right back to prison.

His family says he did nothing wrong that morning in December.

"The only mistake my cousin, Brandon Tate-Brown, made is that he was driving while black in the city of Philadelphia," cousin Asa Khalif said.

The criminal case may be closed, but Tate-Brown's family is now persuing a civil rights lawsuit against Philadelphia police and the city.

The officer and his partner were not wounded in the incident. Police said the officer was placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

There were 29 officer-involved shooting in Philadelphia last year. Four of them involved a suspect being killed.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.