Tate-Brown’s Mother Calls for Peaceful Protest
A day after a protest in her son’s name erupted into a violent skirmish at a community meeting on policing, the mother of Brandon Tate-Brown issued a statement rejecting violence and calling for peaceful protests.
“Ms. Brown-Dickerson rejects all forms of non-peaceful protest,” said the statement issued by Brian Mildenberg, the attorney for Tanya Brown-Dickerson. “Ms. Brown-Dickerson rejects all form of violence. Ms. Brown-Dickerson calls for peaceful protests in the manner of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
The statement also called for a toning down of rhetoric directed at Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and District Attorney Seth Williams. “Any protesters who speak to these public servants disrespectfully are urged to behave with dignity, and to peacefully protest,” it said.
Williams on Thursday announced he would not bring charges against the officers involved in the shooting of Tate-Brown, 26, who died in a December incident. Police said it appeared he was reaching for a gun in his car when the shot him; Tate-Brown’s family disputes that account.
Thursday night’s town hall on policing, at Lawncrest Recreational Center, was planned weeks ahead of Thursday’s announcement, but the timing proved fateful. As soon as Ramsey was introduced to speak, several dozen protesters unleashed a torrent of angry chants demanding justice for Tate-Brown. They eventually got just few inches from Ramsey and Williams, also in attendance, before the violent skirmish broke out. Ten people were arrested; no injuries were reported.
“Ms. Brown-Dickerson is willing to attend any Town Hall meetings or other meetings with the Police Commissioner and the District Attorney on the topic of improving community relations, and offers to play a positive role in such meetings,” said the statement issued by Mildenberg. “She will continue to peacefully protest the shooting death of her son, but she will not and does not support any protest that is not peaceful. She calls for all disputes to be resolved civilly and peacefully.”
The full statement below.
STATEMENT OF MS. TANYA BROWN-DICKERSON, MOTHER OF
BRANDON TATE-BROWN, deceased,
and her attorney, BRIAN R. MILDENBERG, ESQ.,
· PEACEFUL PROTEST;
· RESPECT FOR COMMISSIONER RAMSEY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY SETH WILLIAMS, AND LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS;
· REJECTING CALLS FOR PUBLIC RELEASE OF THE NAMES OF POLICE OFFICERS AT THIS TIME; and
· REJECTING OFFERS OF PAYMENT TO RELEASE OF NAMES.
Tanya Brown-Dickerson is the mother of Brandon Tate-Brown. Yesterday morning, Ms. Brown-Dickerson learned from Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams that no criminal charges would be filed in the police shooting death of her son, which was later that day the subject of a press conference by the District Attorney. That decision sparked protests that resulted in arrests of protesters last night.
Ms. Brown-Dickerson rejects all forms of non-peaceful protest. Ms. Brown-Dickerson rejects all form of violence. Ms. Brown-Dickerson calls for peaceful protests in the manner of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King protested national injustice, but did so peacefully. Peaceful protest is an important part of our democracy and right to free speech. Ms. Brown-Dickerson rejects all non-peaceful actions, and urges anyone who wants to protest her son’s death at a public event to do so peacefully and to act respectfully towards all public officials and police officers in the process of peacefully protesting.
Ms. Brown-Dickerson calls for the names of the police officers involved to be released to her and her counsel in order that they may continue the civil investigation into the circumstances. However, Ms. Brown-Dickerson rejects the call that these names be released to the public at this time due to the current inflammatory circumstances. Although she believes that her son’s civil rights were violated by these police officers, Ms. Brown-Dickerson is content to address her complaints through the legal system.
Ms. Brown-Dickerson also calls upon all supporters of her cause to respect police and law enforcement officers, in the City of Philadelphia, and beyond. That includes Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, as well as District Attorney Seth Williams. Any protesters who speak to these public servants disrespectfully are urged to behave with dignity, and to peacefully protest.
All calls for payments of money in exchange for the names of the police officers involved are rejected. Ms. Brown-Dickerson does not need and does not agree with any offer for this information. Ms. Brown-Dickerson will pursue this information and any civil rights claims through appropriate legal channels.
With respect to Police Commissioner Ramsey, and District Attorney Seth Williams, Ms. Brown-Dickerson respectfully disagrees with them concerning several aspects of this case. However, it is very important to Ms. Brown-Dickerson for the public to know that both Commissioner Ramsey and District Attorney Williams have been kind, professional, graceful, and fully appropriate in their dealings and interactions with her in this matter. They have each personally spoken with Ms. Brown-Dickerson, expressed their condolences, offered her in-person review of matters, and were very careful to remain respectful and consolatory with her in their personal interactions.
With regard to police in general, Ms. Brown-Dickerson supports and thanks the Philadelphia Police Department and all Police Officers for the good work they do in protecting our communities. Ms. Brown-Dickerson has several civil claims concerning the death of her son that are adversary to the Police Department. But this does not detract from her support for police officers in general. Ms. Brown-Dickerson shares in the grieving of all parents or family members that have lost a child’s life due to violence of any nature, and rejects all forms of violence or threats. Ms. Brown-Dickerson seeks for the entire truth of the shooting incident to be brought forth and respectfully requests the release of all evidence in the case, even if the Department needs to redact the names of the police officers involved. But Ms. Brown-Dickerson believes that the majority of our police officers are heroes and deserve the public’s support and appreciation.
Ms. Brown-Dickerson understands the difference between criminal charges being declined by the District Attorney and her rights to bring a civil suit to seek justice in this matter. Ms. Brown-Dickerson is not angry with the District Attorney for his decision, and, in fact, based upon his in-person explanation of the legal basis for his decision, she accepts the decision in peace at this time. However, this decision does not limit Ms. Brown-Dickerson’s rights to seek to bring forth the truth, in a courtroom, before a jury, in a civil proceeding. And this decision does not limit the District Attorney’s right to reevaluate the case at a later time if a civil proceeding brings forth evidence of police wrongdoing. This was acknowledged by the District Attorney to Ms. Brown-Dickerson yesterday.
In closing, Ms. Brown-Dickerson is willing to attend any Town Hall meetings or other meetings with the Police Commissioner and the District Attorney on the topic of improving community relations, and offers to play a positive role in such meetings. She will continue to peacefully protest the shooting death of her son, but she will not and does not support any protest that is not peaceful. She calls for all disputes to be resolved civilly and peacefully.
Ms. Brown-Dickerson expresses her gratitude to all those, both regular citizens, and law enforcement officials, who have wished her condolences over the past three months since the death of her son.
BRIAN R. MILDENBERG, ESQUIRE