Philadelphia District Attorney: Tate-Brown's Death ‘Not a Crime'

After an investigation into the police involved death of Brandon Tate-Brown during a December traffic stop, the Philadelphia District Attorney announced the deadly use of force was "not a crime."

"The facts show a tragedy, a terrible tragedy, but not a crime," said District Attorney Seth Williams during a news conference Thursday at his Center City office.

Tate-Brown, 26, was shot and killed by Philadelphia Police on the 6600 block of Frankford Ave. on Dec. 15 after police said he reached for a loaded gun in his rental car during a routine traffic stop. The gun was stolen last year, officials said.

Williams said an investigation into the "difficult car stop scenario" showed criminal charges were not warranted against the officers.  Authorities reviewed surveillance video from the scene, examined ballistic evidence and considered multiple witness accounts -- reports taken almost immediately from people who did not know each other and were at different vantage points, he said.

During the early morning traffic stop, an officer approached the white Dodge Charger rental car on each side of the vehicle, Williams said. One of them spotted a gun between the passenger seat and the console and asked Tate-Brown to exit the vehicle, he said.

"He broke away from officers three separate times," described Williams. "He went around the car towards the passenger side where he tried to reach inside to the place where he knew he had put his gun."

At that point, one officer fired his weapon and Tate-Brown was hit in the head.

The officers immediately called medics, who arrived and loaded Tate-Brown into an ambulance. But Williams said Thursday the 26-year-old man died instantly.

Williams said he spoke with the victim's family before the press conference and that his heart goes out to her, as well as Tate-Brown's other family members and friends.

Following her son's death, Tanya Dickerson, questioned the officers' decision to discharge their weapon.

"I would like to know why the police, law enforcement, has the right to kill instead of disabling," said Dickerson, who added she last saw her son only hours earlier. "It has to stop, this is enough already."

Dickerson said that her son served five years in prison for aggravated assault stemming from a 2007 beating where he was charged with attempted murder. She said that since his release from prison, Tate-Brown was trying to get his life back on track — working at a rental car place — being a "good guy."

Beside the aggravated assault charge, Tate-Brown also pleaded guilty to weapons charges during his 2008 trial for attempted murder, according to court records.

The officer who fired the shot gave his statement to police  and was placed on desk duty while the internal investigation was conducted.

Dickerson said Tate-Brown's family contacted the NAACP to also investigate the case.

This was the 26th officer-involved shooting in Philly last year and the 4th deadly police-involved shooting.

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