Here Are the City’s Investigative Files in the Brandon Tate-Brown Shooting
[Update 1:05 p.m.] The documents identify publicly — for the first time — the two officers who were involved in the shooting: Nicholas Carrelli and Heng Dang. Commissioner Charles Ramsey had previously declined to identify the duo, saying he feared for their safety.
Both testified they stopped Tate-Brown’s car for running without headlights. It was during the stop, Carrelli told investigators, “I noticed the butt of a gun between the center console and front passenger seat. I think told the male to ‘Do me a favor, step out of the car.’”
Next Carrelli said:
The struggle reached its conclusion, Carrelli said, when Tate-Brown broke away “and started running towards the car.”
“I didn’t chase after him because I wanted to create some space and draw my weapon,” he told investigators. “As he getting (sic) to the car, he runs around the trunk, and after he gets to the other side of the trunk, but before he gets to the roof of the car, that is when I discharged my weapon one time. The male drops to the ground.”
Carrelli was asked what he was thinking when he fired at Tate-Brown.
“What was going through my mind was that he was going to get to the passenger side and get to the gun. I wanted to discharge before I lost sight of him because I feared he would be able to get the gun before I would be able to protect myself.”
More to come.
[Original 12:24] Investigative files in the Brandon Tate-Brown case were released to the public today by order of Mayor Michael Nutter.
The files — made available on a public Dropbox link — include five videos and two written reports, one examining DNA evidence in the case, the other recounting redacted testimony from the incident that took Tate-Brown’s life.
“Good,” said Brian Mildenberg, the attorney for Tate-Brown’s mother, Tanya Brown-Dickerson, when told of the document release. He is suing the city on her behalf, alleging that Tate-Brown’s death at the hands of Philadelphia Police constitutes a civil rights violation.
Mildenberg said the city made the materials available to the public at the same time he was supposed to receive them as part of the lawsuit. He had been pressing for a public release of the documents for months. “The city knew the public has a right to this material,” he said.
But he declined further immediate comment. “I haven’t seen any of this yet, so that’s the problem,” Mildenberg said.
Tate-Brown, 26, died early December 15th after two officers stopped him on Frankford Avenue, near Magee Street, for driving without headlights. Officials say one officer saw a gun in the car’s middle console; Tate-Brown was asked to step from the car and a struggle ensued. Tate-Brown was shot, they said, when he broke away from officers and tried to reach into the car, apparently for the gun. D.A. Seth Williams in March announced he would not file criminal charges against the officer in the case.
The incident has given local impetus to #BlackLivesMatter protests, leading to a melee at a Town Hall meeting in March, the same night of Williams’ announcement.
Mildenberg has disputed the official account, saying he and Brown-Dickerson saw video that appeared to show Tate-Brown being shot well short of the car door, and thus unable to access the gun.
The text documents are below. More files and analysis to come.
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