Video of the moment Brandon Tate-Brown was shot by a Philadelphia Police Officer (and he was not reaching into his passenger side door for a gun)

Here is the video that we have all been waiting for, part of the videos that Tanya Brown-Dickerson and I watched at Internal Affairs over the winter, but were not released to the public.  As a result of the civil rights lawsuit we filed, today, the City of Philadelphia released several videos.   I have redacted the video to show the several seconds prior to the shooting and then the shooting.  It’s hard to see, but look up above the One Way sign.  You’ll see Brandon run across the rear of the vehicle, from left to right, and then you’ll see him fall and drop dead mid-running motion from the single shot to the head.  He was shot from behind, in the rear side of the head.  He was in a running motion, forward, when he dropped, and was in no way anywhere near the passenger side door reaching in for any gun.  This is a travesty of justice and a tragedy for Brandon and his family.  May he rest in peace.

IMPORTANT: KEEP YOUR EYE ABOVE THE “W” ON THE “ONE WAY” SIGN.  DURING THE LAST 3 SECOND OF THE VIDEO, YOU WILL SEE BRANDON TATE-BROWN RUN FROM THE “W’ TO THE “Y” AND THEN DROP DOWN FROM THE GUNSHOT, IN A FORWARD RUNNING MOTION, NOT REACHING INTO THE CAR FOR A GUN.

Brandon Tate-Brown, case update of 3/1/2015

March 1, 2015

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

IN RE: BRANDON TATE-BROWN, deceased

 

CONTENTS:

 

  • EVIDENCE REVIEWED AT INTERNAL AFFAIRS UNDER PROTEST BY TANYA DICKERSON AND HER ATTORNEY DUE TO POLICE DEPARTMENT DECISION TO BAR USE OF PEN OR PAPER TO TAKE NOTES REGARDING THE STATEMENTS, CONSISTENT WITH THE DEPARTMENT’S LACK OF TRANSPARENCY AND SECRECY CONCERNING THIS INCIDENT.

 

  • WITNESS STATEMENTS REVEAL THAT ARRESTING POLICE OFFICER ON SCENE STATED THAT HE PULLED OVER BRANDON TATE-BROWN FOR HIS VEHICLE MATCHING THE DESCRIPTION OF A VEHICLE INVOLVED IN AN EARLIER INCIDENT, NOT BECAUSE HIS HEADLIGHTS LIGHTS WERE NOT TURNED ON.

 

  • POLICE OFFICER CLAIMED IN HIS WRITTEN STATEMENT THAT HE PULLED BRANDON OVER FOR HEADLIGHTS BEING OFF; CLAIMED THAT ONLY DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS WERE ON: SAID NOTHING ABOUT CAR MATCHING EARLIER DESCRIPTION. THESE DISCREPANCIES SUPPORT A CLAIM THAT BRANDON WAS PULLED OVER AS A RESULT OF INAPPROPRIATE PROFILING, AND FOR NO GOOD REASON. HE WAS A YOUNG AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALE DRIVING A BRAND NEW, LUXURY VEHICLE.

 

  • ONCE PULLED OVER, BRANDON ADVISED POLICE OFFICERS THAT HE WORKED AT HERTZ RENTAL CAR, AND WAS USING THE CAR WITH MANAGER’S PERMISSION.

 

  • POLICE OFFICERS THEN RAN PLATES. PLATES CAME BACK OWNED BY DOLLAR RENTAL CAR, NOT HERTZ. BECAUSE OF THIS ALLEGED INCONSISTENCY, OFFICERS THEN REQUESTED BRANDON TO STEP OUT OF THE VEHICLE. OFFICERS DID NOT REALIZE THAT DOLLAR RENTAL CAR IS A WHOLLY OWNED CORPORATE SUBSIDIARY OF THE HERTZ CORPORATION.   HERTZ ACQUIRED DOLLAR IN NOVEMBER, 2012.   THERE WAS IN FACT NO INCONSISTENCY.

 

  • NO WITNESSES SAW BRANDON WITH A GUN OR HEARD BRANDON ADMIT TO HAVING A GUN. ONE WITNESS CLAIMED TO HEAR POLICE, WHILE POINTING A GUN AT BRANDON’S BACK, DEMAND TO KNOW WHERE THE GUN WAS, AND HEARD BRANDON DENY HAVING THE GUN ON HIM.

 

  • WITNESSES REFERRED TO A SHINY METALLIC OBJECT THAT BRANDON WAS CARRYING. IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED THAT THIS COULD HAVE BEEN A GUN. IN FACT, THIS WAS BRANDON’S CELLULAR PHONE, NOT A GUN. THE GUN THAT THE POLICE ALLEGEDLY FOUND WAS NEVER CLAIMED BY THE POLICE TO HAVE BEEN ON BRANDON’S PERSON, BUT ONLY CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN FOUND IN THE VEHICLE AFTER BRANDON WAS SHOT. PRESENCE OF THE CELL PHONE IS CONFIRMED BY EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONDER.

 

  • THE MEDICAL EXAMINER AUTOPSY RESULTS DESCRIBE, IN ADDITION TO THE GUNSHOT WOUNDS, SEVERAL “BLUNT IMPACT WOUNDS” TO THE FACE. MEDICAL EXAMINER TOXICOLOGY REPORT ALSO CONFIRMS BRANDON WAS NEGATIVE FOR DRUGS AT TIME. TOXICOLOGY REPORT IS ATTACHED.

 

  • EARLIER POLICE CLAIMS TO THE PUBLIC THAT OFFICERS SAW A GUN UPON INITIALLY APPROACHING THE VEHICLE ARE UNSUPPORTED BY THE OFFICER’S STATEMENTS

 

  • FAMILY RENEWS CLAIM FOR POLICE TO RELEASE ALL VIDEOS AND STATEMENTS TO THE PUBLIC

 

DETAILS:

 

  • EVIDENCE REVIEWED AT INTERNAL AFFAIRS UNDER PROTEST BY TANYA DICKERSON AND HER ATTORNEY DUE TO POLICE DEPARTMENT DECISION TO BAR USE OF PEN OR PAPER TO TAKE NOTES REGARDING THE STATEMENTS, CONSISTENT WITH THE DEPARTMENT’S LACK OF TRANSPARENCY AND SECRECY CONCERNING THIS INCIDENT.

 

On Friday, February 27, 2015, Ms. Tanya Dickerson, mother of Brandon Tate-Brown, and I, her counsel, Brian Mildenberg, Esquire, attended a meeting at the Philadelphia Police Internal Affairs Bureau on Dungun Road, in Northeast Philadelphia. The purpose of the meeting was for the police department to allow us to review additional evidence, in the form of eyewitness and police officer statements, in the Brandon Tate-Brown shooting case.

 

Unfortunately, the police department, allegedly in consultation with their legal counsel, would not allow us to take any notes, use a pen or pencil, or a notepad, concerning the interviews. The interviews were presented for reading only. I protested that it was unheard of that an attorney not be allowed his legal pad and pen to take notes, and that this was a restriction on my ability to provide legal representation.

 

We were told that we had to either read them all in one sitting, without notes, or not read them at all. If we left the room to take notes after reading only one statement, we would not be allowed back. This was our only chance. These were the ground rules that we had to accept in order to read the statements. Ultimately, we advised that we would read the statements, and do so without taking notes, but only under protest, and that we would advocate for the ability to read them again, attorney’s notebook and pen in hand.

 

Telling a lawyer he or she cannot use a legal pad is like telling a journalist he or she cannot use a pen, or telling a surgeon he or she cannot use a scalpel. Attorney notes, which are unquestionably subject to confidentiality and legal privilege as attorney work product and mental impressions, are essential for the appropriate provision of legal advice and services, and are part of the basic tools attorneys use to practice their trade. Barring counsel from taking notes, making the attorney’s job more difficult, is, frankly, not in accordance with the values and freedoms of our democracy and a citizen’s right to be represented by counsel when dealing with the government, in this case the police. The Philadelphia Police Department attempted to handicap or limit my ability to engage in my profession as an attorney by refusing me the professional courtesy of taking notes after reading each statement. On behalf of Ms. Dickerson, we respectfully demand that we be allowed to read the statements again and take such notes as are deemed appropriate by us. This is Philadelphia, the birthplace of freedom and democracy, not a police dictatorship. One of our most cherished traditions is the right of redress against he government, including the right to an attorney. The Philadelphia Police Department has acted to limit Ms. Dickerson’s right to counsel by barring her attorney from taking notes on evidence presented for review.

 

  • WITNESS STATEMENTS REVEAL THAT ARRESTING POLICE OFFICER ON SCENE STATED THAT HE PULLED OVER BRANDON TATE-BROWN FOR HIS VEHICLE MATCHING THE DESCRIPTION OF A VEHICLE INVOLVED IN AN EARLIER INCIDENT, NOT BECAUSE HIS HEADLIGHTS LIGHTS WERE NOT TURNED ON.

 

We learned new information by reviewing the police officer and witness statements, and we uncovered further inconsistencies in the Police Department’s official story as to why Brandon Tate-Brown was pulled over, asked to exit his vehicle, and then shot once in the head.

 

First, we learned that, during the time where there was a struggle between Brandon and the police officers, a “good Samaritan,” who appears to be an off duty law enforcement or security officer (we don’t know for sure because the Police Department redacted the part of the statement where the witness identifies his profession), was driving by the scene on Frankford Avenue with a female friend in his vehicle. Upon arriving at the scene, he noticed the struggle, and decided, against his female friend’s urging not to leave the car, to exit the vehicle to provide assistance to the officers. He noted that he was armed with a handgun and claims that he placed his handgun in the back of his vehicle because he did not want to go outside the vehicle with his gun and get drawn into shooting or get shot due to adrenaline or the course of events. He exited the vehicle and ran towards the struggle. At that time, Brandon escaped the grip of the officers and ran back towards Brandon’s vehicle, at which point he was shot by one of the officers. Ms. Dickerson and counsel maintain that the video of the incident appears to show that Brandon was shot from behind, and dropped down, as he ran away from the officers and had reached the rear of his vehicle, and that, contrary to police claims, he was not reaching for a gun when he was shot. The Philadelphia Police Advisory Commission has released a revised statement, after viewing the video, clarifying that the video does not show Brandon reaching for a gun.

 

Most significant about this intervening witness is not what he claims he saw or heard concerning the struggle, but what he claims occurred after Brandon was shot by a police officer. This witness, who had jumped out of his car to help police, states in his written interview conducted the morning of the shooting, that after the shooting, the police officer came up to him and told him that he had pulled Brandon over because his vehicle matched a description of a vehicle from an earlier incident, not because Brandon’s headlights were out, contrary to the official police version of events. This is the very first time we have heard the police officer’s apparently true reason for pulling Brandon over. The true reason, according to this eyewitness, who is reporting what the police officer stated to him immediately after the event, was that Brandon’s car allegedly matched the description of a vehicle involved in an earlier incident.

 

  • POLICE OFFICER CLAIMED IN HIS WRITTEN STATEMENT THAT HE PULLED BRANDON OVER FOR HEADLIGHTS BEING OFF; CLAIMED THAT ONLY DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS WERE ON: SAID NOTHING ABOUT CAR MATCHING EARLIER DESCRIPTION. THESE DISCREPANCIES SUPPORT A CLAIM THAT BRANDON WAS PULLED OVER AS A RESULT OF INAPPROPRIATE PROFILING, AND FOR NO GOOD REASON. HE WAS A YOUNG AFRICAN-AMERICAN DRIVING A BRAND NEW, LUXURY VEHICLE.

 

In the police officer’s interview, the police officer claimed, as we know, that he pulled Brandon over because his headlights were not on. The police officer claimed that he noticed the headlights were not on and thought perhaps that Brandon was driving by accident with only his daytime running lights on. The police officer claims that his initial intention was just to pull him over, tell him to turn his lights on, and make sure he was ok. However, this is contrary to the testimony of the “good Samaritan” witness, who stated that immediately after the shooting, the officer came up to him and told him that the reason Brandon was pulled over was because he matched the description of an earlier vehicle involved in an incident. In other words, Brandon was a young, African American male, driving a brand new, luxury vehicle, a 2014 White Dodge Charger. We challenge the police to provide information about the alleged previous incident that night involving a vehicle that matched the description. The police story has changed so many times that, on behalf of Ms. Dickerson, we now believe that Brandon was pulled over for no good reason at all, and never should have been pulled over in the first place. The story about the headlights being out simply is not supported, because the police officer told the intervening witness that Brandon was pulled over for matching a vehicle they were on the lookout for regarding an earlier incident.

 

  • ONCE PULLED OVER, BRANDON ADVISED POLICE OFFICERS THAT HE WORKED AT HERTZ RENTAL CAR, AND WAS USING THE CAR WITH MANAGER’S PERMISSION.

 

Next, once Brandon was pulled over, according to the police officer’s interview, they approached him and spoke to him and he advised that he worked at Hertz Rental Car and was using the vehicle with his manager’s permission. The police officers then went back and ran Brandon’s license plates.

 

  • POLICE OFFICERS THEN RAN PLATES. PLATES CAME BACK OWNED BY DOLLAR RENTAL CAR, NOT HERTZ. BECAUSE OF THIS ALLEGED INCONSISTENCY, OFFICERS THEN REQUESTED BRANDON TO STEP OUT OF THE VEHICLE. OFFICERS DID NOT REALIZE THAT DOLLAR RENTAL CAR IS A WHOLLY OWNED SUBSIDIARY OF THE HERTZ CORPORATION.   HERTZ ACQUIRED DOLLAR IN NOVEMBER, 2012.   THERE WAS IN FACT NO INCONSISTENCY.

 

When the police officers ran the license plates, the plates came back being registered to Dollar Rental Car, not Hertz. Because of this, according to the police officers, they decided to order Brandon to step out of the vehicle. However, already having been pulled over for no credible reason, the unfair traffic stop continued, and undue suspicion was raised against Brandon, because the police were not aware that Dollar Rental Car is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Hertz Corporation, which was acquired by Hertz in November, 2012. See http://www.dollar.com/AboutUs/Background.aspx (accessed March 1, 2015). In fact, “Hertz Holdings, through its subsidiary The Hertz Corporation (“Hertz”) operates its car rental business through the Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty brands….” Id. Therefore, the fact that Brandon advised he was employed by Hertz, but the rental car came up registered to Dollar, should not have been a basis to request that this young man exit his vehicle. In fact, he never should have been pulled over to begin with, let alone be ordered to exit the vehicle.

 

  • NO WITNESSES SAW BRANDON WITH A GUN OR HEARD BRANDON ADMIT TO HAVING A GUN. ONE WITNESS CLAIMED TO HEAR POLICE, WHILE POINTING A GUN AT BRANDON’S BACK, DEMAND TO KNOW WHERE THE GUN WAS, AND HEARD BRANDON DENY HAVING THE GUN ON HIM.

 

Witnesses did not see Brandon carrying a gun or hear Brandon admit to having a gun, contrary to reports of others who have seen the statements. The closest a witness came to providing information supporting an inference that Brandon admitted to a gun was that one witness stated he overheard police, after Brandon complied and exited the vehicle, and during a time where a police officer had his gun drawn and was pointing it at Brandon’s back, asking Brandon to tell them whether he had a gun and where it was. This witness overheard Brandon deny that he had the gun on him. This has been misinterpreted and reported as Brandon admitted to having a gun, but just not on him. This is not what the witness reported.

 

  • WITNESSES REFERRED TO A SHINY METALLIC OBJECT THAT BRANDON WAS CARRYING. IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED THAT THIS COULD HAVE BEEN A GUN. IN FACT, THIS WAS BRANDON’S CELLULAR PHONE, NOT A GUN. THE GUN THAT THE POLICE ALLEGEDLY FOUND WAS NEVER CLAIMED BY THE POLICE TO HAVE BEEN ON BRANDON’S PERSON, BUT ONLY CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN FOUND IN THE VEHICLE AFTER BRANDON WAS SHOT. PRESENCE OF THE CELL PHONE IS CONFIRMED BY EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONDER.

 

Witnesses also referred to a shiny metallic object that Brandon appeared to be holding. This was nothing more or less than his cellular phone. In the video from the 7-11 convenience store Brandon entered prior to the shooting, he is seen carrying his cell phone in his hand, with his earpiece wires going up his shirt, up to his ears. Brandon’s mother explains that Brandon had a cell phone holder on his waistband, where he could clip the phone. It appears that during the police encounter Brandon was holding his cell phone and had reached down to clip it to his belt. This is where the story that he “reached for his waistband” appears to emanate. The presence of Brandon’s cell phone on his person is further confirmed by the emergency medical responder, who confirms that, as they were providing emergency services, his cell phone kept ringing. The shiny metallic object on Brandon’s person and near his waist that witnesses thought could have been a gun was nothing more than his cell phone. Even the police, in all of their changing versions of the story, have never stated that Brandon had a gun on his person; rather, they claim that the gun was in the car, where it was allegedly found, after the shooting, lodged between the passenger seat and the center console.

 

  • THE MEDICAL EXAMINER AUTOPSY RESULTS DESCRIBE, IN ADDITION TO THE GUNSHOT WOUNDS, SEVERAL “BLUNT IMPACT WOUNDS” TO THE FACE. MEDICAL EXAMINER TOXICOLOGY REPORT ALSO CONFIRMS BRANDON WAS NEGATIVE FOR DRUGS AT TIME.

 

We also have new information concerning the autopsy results performed by the medical examiner. The medical examiner reported that, in addition to the gunshot wound, Brandon had three (3) Blunt Impact Wounds to the face. One was on the left forehead above the eyebrow measuring 2” x 0.5”. The second was on the left side of the face, measuring 1” x 2”. The third was on the left side of the face on the cheek and overlying the mandible, and measured 1” x 3”. The medical examiner stated that there were no underlying hemorrhage in the wrist and reported no injuries to his hands, with the exception to the fingernail of the first digit of the left hand, which fingernail was broken. Other than the gunshot wound, and gunshot associated wounds to the head, skull, and brain, the 3 Blunt Impact Wounds to the face, and the broken fingernail, the Medical Examiner found no other injuries. Toxicology results were negative for drugs.

 

  • EARLIER POLICE CLAIMS TO THE PUBLIC THAT OFFICERS SAW A GUN UPON INITIALLY APPROACHING THE VEHICLE ARE UNSUPPORTED BY THE OFFICER’S STATEMENTS

 

Contrary to prior claims by the police that the officers saw the gun upon approaching the vehicle and then asked Brandon to step out of the car, in fact, the officers do not claim to have seen a gun until after they approached a second time, having spoken with Brandon and run his plates, and asked Brandon to step out of the car due to his license plate coming back under Dollar rental car, instead of Hertz. The passenger side police officer at this time, according to a police statement, advised his partner on the driver’s side that he saw a gun. When Brandon exited the vehicle, in compliance with the officer’s instructions, an officer pointed a gun at Brandon’s back and demanded to know where the gun was. This is when he denied having the gun on him.

 

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February 26, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

IN RE: BRANDON TATE-BROWN, deceased

MEDICAL EXAMINER RECORDS: CLICK HERE.

Today, our investigation has uncovered new police inconsistencies in the Police shooting death of Brandon-Tate Brown.

 

  • PHILADELPHIA MEDICAL EXAMINER RECORDS: DETAILS PROVIDED TO MEDICAL EXAMINER ON DATE OF SHOOTING DIFFERENT FROM CURRENT OFFICIAL POLICE ACCOUNT OF INCIDENT

 

  • POLICE TOLD A DIFFERENT STORY TO MEDICAL EXAMINER CONCERNING THE DEATH OF BRANDON TATE-BROWN

 

  • NO MENTION OF HEADLIGHTS AS REASON FOR STOP

 

  • ALLEGED GUN NOT SEEN UNTIL AFTER TATE-BROWN ASKED TO EXIT VEHICLE

 

  • POLICE CLAIMED GUN ONLY SEEN BY ONE OFFICER, WELL INTO THE VEHICLE STOP, NOT BY THE OFFICERS UPON APPROACHING THE VEHICLE

 

  • VIDEO OF THE SHOOTING VIEWED BY TANYA DICKERSON AND BRIAN MILDENBERG, ESQ. AT POLICE INTERNAL AFFAIRS, CONFIRMS POLICE DID NOT SEE GUN IMMEDIATELY; ON VIDEO, POLICE ARE SEEN INTERACTING WITH TATE-BROWN WITH NO STRUGGLE FOR SEVERAL MINUTES.

 

  • ACCORDING TO ACCOUNT TOLD TO MEDICAL EXAMINER, HE WAS ASKED TO EXIT VEHICLE BECAUSE LICENSE PLATES DID NOT INITIALLY MATCH INQUIRY, NOT BECAUSE POLICE SAW A GUN.

 

  • FIVE HOURS AFTER THE INCIDENT, POLICE STILL HAD “NOTHING IN WRITING” AND WERE STILL “INTERVIEWING” THE OFFICERS INVOLVED.

 

  • DETAILS AND DOCUMENTS ATTACHED BELOW:

Mildenberg Law Firm, P.C. has obtained documents from the official Medical Examiner’s Report of Death Investigation in the case of Brandon Tate-Brown, who was shot in the head from behind by a Philadelphia Police Officer during a traffic stop on December 15, 2014.

These documents show that the contemporaneous details provided to the Medical Examiner by police as part of the Examiner’s official investigation into the death are different and inconsistent with the details currently forming the Police Department’s official account of the incident. These documents, and subsequent changes to the factual claims by the Police Department, raise questions as to the accuracy and integrity of the police investigation. As a result, Tanya Dickerson, the mother of Brandon Tate-Brown, continues to respectfully demand that all evidence, videos, and police interviews relating to this case be immediately released for investigation and review.

INCIDENT STARTED AS ‘STANDARD CAR STOP’

According to the Medical Examiner’s Report, the incident began at approximately 2:40 a.m. At approximately 3:29 a.m., the Medical Examiner’s office received a telephone call from Detective Scally, of the Philadelphia Police Homicide Unit, to report that Brandon Tate-Brown was shot by police. At that time, the Detective stated, according to the Medical Examiner’s records, that the “incident started out as a standard car stop,” and provided “no further details.”

MORE THAN FIVE HOURS AFTER THE INCIDENT, POLICE TOLD MEDICAL EXAMINER THEY WERE STILL INTERVIEWING OFFICERS AND HAD NOTHING TO PROVIDE IN WRITING

At 5:46 a.m., the Medical Examiner called Homicide and spoke with Detective Hagan, and “requested copies of the police interviews for the job be faxed to the MEO once they are complete.”

At 7:54 a.m., the Medical Examiner again called Homicide and learned that, more than five (5) hours after the incident, “[t]hey are still in the process of interviewing the officers and don’t have anything in writing.”

POLICE TOLD MEDICAL EXAMINER LICENSE PLATES WERE THE ISSUE; NO MENTION OF HEADLIGHTS OUT IN EXAMINER’S REPORT

POLICE STATE THAT THEY DID NOT SEE A GUN UNTIL AFTER PULLING BRANDON-TATE BROWN OVER, SPEAKING WITH HIM, RUNNING HIS PLATES, AND THEN ASKING HIM TO STEP OUT OF THE CAR

At 7:54 a.m., although Homicide indicated they had “nothing in writing,” the Medical Examiner was advised by Homicide that:

[W]hat they know so far is that the incident started as a car stop. The decedent said he was renting the car from a specific company. When the police ran the plates, the plate came back to a different rental car company. They ask the decedent to step out of the car, and the second officer notices a gun between the console and the seat. He tells the other officer. The decedent starts to fight with the officer. Both officers end up struggling with the decedent from the street onto the sidewalk. The decedent get [sic] free of both of them and goes for the open car door where the gun was seen. One officer shoots the decedent once in the head. There will not be any other official report until later.

Philadelphia Medical Examiner Report, Case No. 14-05016, Brandon Tate-Brown, deceased (emphasis added).

In the Medical Examiner’s investigation, there was no mention by police that the reason for the car stop was that Brandon Tate-Brown’s headlights were not turned on.

OFFICIAL POLICE STATEMENT ISSUED LATER THAT DAY DIFFERS FROM CONTEMPORANEOUS ACCOUNT TOLD TO MEDICAL EXAMINER; NO MENTION OF LICENSE PLATE PROBLEMS

Later, at 10:13 a.m., the Police Department, acting through Lt. John Stanford, Office of Media Relations, sent out an official press release notifying the media of the details of the incident, stating as follows:

Monday morning December 15, 2014, at approximately 2:45am, 15th District officers working in full police uniform, operating a marked police vehicle, observed a White Dodge Charger with a Florida tag driving without headlights. The officers stopped this vehicle for investigation as a result of that traffic violation. Upon approaching the vehicle the officers observed a handgun in the center console area of the vehicle. The officers asked the male to exit the vehicle and upon exiting a struggled ensued between the male and the officers. The male forced his way back to his vehicle and attempted to retrieve the gun when one of the officers discharged his weapon striking the male once in the head….

Id. (emphasis added).

CURRENT OFFICIAL ACCOUNT POSTED ON POLICE WEBSITE PROVIDES YET A THIRD INCONSISTENT VERSION OF THE SHOOTING; POLICE NOW ALSO CLAIM THAT BRANDON TATE-BROWN “REACHED FOR HIS WAISTBAND,” A NEVER-BEFORE HEARD CLAIM

Still later, the Police Department posted an official description of the incident to the Philadelphia Police website page indexing officer involved shootings at https://www.phillypolice.com/ois/. In that description, the Police Department states as follows:

 

On Monday, December 15, 2014, at approximately 2:40 A.M., uniformed officers, in a marked police vehicle, stopped a vehicle for traffic violations (headlights were not on) in the 6600 block of Frankford Avenue. The vehicle was occupied by one male. Upon approaching the vehicle, one of the officers observed a firearm inside the vehicle. The officers instructed the male operator of the vehicle to exit the vehicle. As the male exited the vehicle, a struggle ensued between the male and the officers. At one point, the offender reached for his waistband, after which he broke free from the officers. The offender ran to the passenger side of his vehicle and was reaching for the weapon in the vehicle, when one of the officers discharged his weapon, striking the offender.

https://www.phillypolice.com/assets/crime-maps-stats/officer-involved-shootings/14-46.pdf (accessed 2/25/2015).

IN SUMMARY:

 

  • At 7:54 a.m., Police told the Medical Examiner that, when they stopped him, Brandon stated he was renting car from a rental agency, but that when they ran his plates, the car came back to a different rental car agency. Apparently, this was the original reason for asking Brandon to step out of the vehicle, not because the officers saw a gun as they approached the vehicle, contrary to what police would later tell the public and media. The Medical Examiner’s records also do not indicate that the reason for the stop was driving without headlights.
  • At 7:54 a.m., Police told the Medical Examiner that after the plates did not come back matching the rental agency name, they asked Brandon Tate-Brown to step out of vehicle, and only then did one of the officers “notice[] a gun between the console and the seat” at which point that officer told the other officer. The police claim that Brandon then started to fight with the police officers. It is important to note that the details concerning the checking of license plates conforms to the video of the incident viewed by Tanya Dickerson and Brian Mildenberg, Esquire. In the video, the police officers are seen interacting with Brandon Tate-Brown after pulling him over for several minutes without struggle. This was apparently the time when they were asking him questions and running his license plate. It was only after this several minutes of interaction did any struggle begin. If the police saw the gun “upon approaching the vehicle,” there would not have been several minutes of police interacting with and speaking with Brandon Tate-Brown. The story that they saw the gun when they approached the vehicle, which is being told to the public as the official story, just does not hold up.
  • In yet a third version of the story, currently published on the Philadelphia Police Department website, additional details were added, including that Brandon “reached for his waistband,” a tale that was never before heard, which appears to the Tate-Brown family to be an additional embellishment to convince the public that the officers were justified.

 

ATTACHMENTS:

MEDICAL EXAMINER RECORDS: CLICK HERE.

  1. DOCUMENTS FROM MEDICAL EXAMINER’S REPORT
  2. OFFICIAL POLICE STATEMENT OF 12/15/2014
  3. POLICE WEBSITE MATERIALS AND STATEMENT CONCERNING THE INCIDENT, PRESENTLY POSTED ON OFFICIAL PHILADELPHIA POLICE OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING WEBSITE INDEX

 

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