Months after the police officers involved were cleared of wrongdoing, the city of Philadelphia released documents yesterday that shed new light on their arrest and killing of Brandon Tate-Brown, a black man, last December.* Fifty pages of transcribed interviews with the involved officers, as well as several surveillance videos of the shooting, were handed over to Brian Mildenberg, the attorney representing Tate-Brown’s mother Tanya Brown-Dickerson in a class-action lawsuit against the city.
The documents notably name the two officers involved, rookies Nicholas Carrelli and Heng Dang, who had not been identified publicly by the Philadelphia Police Department in the past.
According to a report from the Philadelphia Daily News, the information on the documents provide more clarity but do not resolve key conflicts in the narratives surrounding the shooting. Among those conflicts:
[A] witness who approached the officers after the shooting said one told him they stopped Tate-Brown “for a vehicle that was described in a robbery earlier.” But Deng told Internal Affairs investigators that he pulled over Tate-Brown because he drove with just his daytime running lights on. “I figured he just came out of a store or something and we just [were] going to check to see if he was OK to drive and tell him to turn his lights on,” Deng told his interviewers.
Mildenberg singled out perhaps the biggest discrepancy of all – Tate-Brown’s location when he was fatally shot.
The Police Department has maintained that Tate-Brown was shot as he reached into the passenger side of his car, possibly trying to retrieve a stolen, loaded, hidden handgun Carrelli had spotted earlier jammed into the center console. But in his statement to Internal Affairs, Carrelli said he opened fire when Tate-Brown ran around the trunk of the Charger, “before he gets to the roof of the car.”
Brown-Dickerson praised the release of the documents and the transparency she hoped it would provide, while acknowledging that, based on the footage she saw, "I saw my son running as if he was a child running from a whupping. I saw my son struggling, ducking, falling down,"
*Post has been updated since publication for clarity.