Brandon Tate-Brown Family Files Federal Class-Action Lawsuit
The family of Brandon Tate-Brown, a 26-year-old man who was fatally shot by police at a traffic stop last year, filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday.
The lawsuit makes the same claims as a wrongful death suit that was filed in April by the family in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, which has since been withdrawn, as well as several additional claims. Attorney Brian Mildenberg said the new claims were based on an investigation that took place after the police department released several documents in June related to the shooting.
Mildenberg said the family “is asking the federal court to certify a class action on behalf of all persons who have been or may be injured by police due to lack of training and operational deficiencies identified by the United States Department of Justice.”
In March, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a wide-ranging, critical report that found that police-involved shootings in Philadelphia had increased, use-of-force training was often inadequate, and the investigation of shootings was inconsistent. It also recommended several major police reforms. The federal government began reviewing the city’s police department after a request was made by Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.
The family “requests that the federal court take jurisdiction over, and force the implementation of, these reforms in order to assure that the Philadelphia Police Department is operating in accordance with law and Constitutional limitations,” said Mildenberg, and it “seeks damages for the wrongful death of Brandon Tate-Brown.”
Tate-Brown’s family also renewed its call for the police officers involved the shooting to be criminally charged and removed from the streets. Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said in March that he would not press charges because the officers had not committed any crimes.
Just yesterday, protesters swarmed an event where Ramsey was speaking, shouting, “Black lives matter!” and “No racist police!” They were protesting Tate-Brown’s death.