Protests over Brandon Tate-Brown case disrupt town hall meeting

LAWNCREST (WPVI) -- A group disrupted a town hall meeting in Lawncrest, protesting a decision by the district attorney not to pursue charges in the fatal shooting of Brandon Tate-Brown at the hands of Philadelphia police.

The group disrupted the community meeting being held by State Rep. Mark Cohen and the Philadelphia Police Department.

Residents gathered at the Lawncrest Recreation Center to talk about improving their neighborhood.

That's when family, friends and activists in support of Tate-Brown began to throw chairs and chant, 'Back lives matter.'

"We need to make sure that police are accountable to civilian voices, that there needs to be a movement towards transparency," said Mark House, protester.

Tate-Brown was pulled over by police in December.

Officers say they spotted a gun in the car. After a struggle, officers shot and killed Tate-Brown.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced Thursday that the officers would not be charged.

He said video evidence and three eye witness accounts show Tate-Brown was attempting to reach the gun.

"We want the name of the officer who killed Brandon Tate Brown," yelled one protester during Wednesday's meeting.

Protesters responded to the no-charges decision by crashing the meeting where Williams and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey were in attendance.

"I'm certainly aware that there are some strained relationships right now but what you saw here today is embarrassing," said Commissioner Ramsey.

"This was scheduled months ago, I was invited by Rep Cohen. I think we need to sit down and talk to the public as often as necessary," said Williams.

Residents who came in hopes of making progress wre also disappointed by the interruption.

"For people to come out and talk, not for people to be violent, not to have a one-sided agenda - this is a community. I'm outraged because I work in this community," said Kathy Wersinger.

In all 10 people were arrested in Wednesday night's protest.

Many of the protesters chanted that they wanted to know the name of the officers involved in the shooting.

Commissioner Ramsey said given the behavior of those who interrupted the meeting, he doesn't think it's in the best interest to release that information.
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