Civil Suit Likely in Brandon Tate-Brown Death
The Brandon Tate-Brown saga isn’t over. It might be just beginning.
Hours after District Attorney Seth Williams said he would not bring criminal charges against the two officers involved in the December shooting death of Brandon Tate-Brown, his mother and her attorney suggested that a civil suit is still likely — and that they have evidence which contradicts Williams’ basis for declining charges.
“I want transparency,” said Tanya Dickerson, Tate-Brown’s mother, at a press conference in front of City Hall. “We don’t see transparency.”
Brian Mildenberg, her attorney, said his investigators turned up several pieces of evidence that seem to contradict the statements made by police after the shooting. Authorities said Tate-Brown was pulled over because he was driving without headlights; Mildenberg said at least one witness suggests his headlights were on. And he said, there is evidence — including video possessed by the police — suggesting that Tate-Brown died at the rear of the car, not reaching into it toward a gun in the center console.
Williams showed grainy video at his press conference, but did not release it to the public. Mildenberg and Dickerson said they want to obtain the video, and to show it to the public.
“I believe the police department has made statements about this case that have turned out not to be true,” Mildenberg said.
Dickerson met with Williams Thursday morning to hear his decision. At his press conference, Williams characterized Dickerson’s mood during that meeting as accepting of the decision, even if she disagreed with it. Dickerson presented a slightly different account of that meeting.
“Seth Williams said what happened was a tragedy,” Dickerson. “I’ll agree with him that much: It was a tragedy.”
She said she wasn’t surprised by Williams’ decision not to file charges..
“Does it make my heart heavy to have to relive it again? Yes,” she said, adding, “Like any mother, I choked and I cried” when told of Williams’ decision.
Anger and protests have roiled the community since Tate-Brown’s death. His cousin, Asa Khalif, said there is more to come. “We want justice for Brandon Tate-Brown,” Khalif said.
But those protests should be peaceful, the family said. “We do not support any violence or any call for violence,” Mildenberg said.
“I support police. We need them,” Dickerson added. “But I need not be scared of police brutality.”
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