Tate-Brown’s Mother Sues City, Officers for Son’s Death

By Austin Nolen

Yesterday, Tanya Brown-Dickerson, the mother of Brandon Tate-Brown, filed a lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia and the two unnamed officers involved in her son’s death last December. The complaint, filed in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, requests not only damages for wrongful death, false arrest and other torts arising from the incident, but also that the Court of Common Pleas oversee and enforce the implementation of the 91 reforms outlined in the recent COPS Office report on the Philadelphia Police Department.

The complaint asserts that the gun found in Tate-Brown’s vehicle was in fact a plant used by police to escape discipline after the shooting. According to the document, “Brandon’s blood, bodily fluids and DNA were all over the street and sidewalk after the shooting. It would have been possible for police officers to wipe some of Brandon’s DNA onto a drop gun.” 

The suit also repeats past claims made by Brown-Dickerson and her attorney Brian Mildenberg, including an allegation that video of the incident shows Tate-Brown being shot some distance from the car door where police claim he was reaching for a gun. Independent observers who have seen the same evidence, including the Police Advisory Commission’s Kelvyn Anderson and journalist Solomon Jones, have questioned this claim and others. Mr. Mildenberg did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this discrepancy.

The complaint raises numerous other related questions and claims as well, including the potential disclosure of the names of the officers involved, and The Declaration will continue covering the case going forward. The City’s Law Department, representing both the City and the officers, must file a response within twenty days.

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