Demand Justice for Brandon Tate-Brown: Call-In Script

Mayor Nutter: 215-686-2181

Commissioner Ramsey: 215-686-3367

DA Williams: 215-686-8000

Call Script

Hi, my name is ___________ and I’m calling to speak to Commissioner Ramsey/ Mayor Nutter/District Attorney Williams.

(You will probably be told that he is unavailable)

I am calling to express my concern about the lack of transparency around the police killing of Brandon Tate-Brown in Northeast Philadelphia on December 15th. Who can I speak to about that?

(You will either be transferred or asked to give a message to be forwarded)

As you may be aware, Brandon Tate-Brown was driving home in the early hours of December 15th when he was pulled over in Mayfair by two rookie police officers, allegedly for his headlights being off. The traffic stop resulted in one of the officers fatally shooting him in the back of the head. His mother had to learn about his death from the radio and two months later her information about the case still primarily comes from the media, despite the fact that she has made numerous attempts to contact the Philadelphia Police Department regarding her son’s killing.

For Demand #1 (on February 25th):

I would like to demand that the names of the officers involved in Brandon’s killing be immediately released to his family, the media and the public.

I urge the police department, the DA’s office, and the city do everything in their power to see to it that the names of these police officers are released, especially now that they have returned to street duty without any justification made to the public.

I would appreciate it if you would please pass my message along to Commissioner Ramsey/Mayor Nutter/Mr. Williams.  Thank you and goodbye.

For Demand #2 (on February 26th):

I would like to demand that ALL surveillance video footage that captured the fatal police shooting of Brandon Tate-Brown in Northeast Philly on December 15th be released (not just shown) immediately to his family, the media, and the public.

Especially since the police department has concluded their investigation and the officers responsible for Brandon’s death have returned to street duty, Brandon’s family and the public deserve to see the truth for themselves. In recent situations around the country when surveillance cameras have captured fatal police shootings of unarmed people, the footage has been made available even well before the conclusion of the internal investigation, and there is absolutely no reason that this case should be an exception.

I would appreciate it if you would please pass my message along to Commissioner Ramsey/Mayor Nutter/Mr. Williams.  Thank you and goodbye.

For Demand # 3 (on February 27th):

I would like to demand that action is taken towards the implementation of an independent community review board that can provide effective community oversight of the Philadelphia Police Department in order to effectively hold the department accountable for incidents of excessive police force, fatal or otherwise. All information on police shootings and incidents of excessive force should be made immediately available to this board, and in the meantime, to the currently existing Police Advisory Committee.

An effective means of oversight would ensure that a grieving family would never have to wait indefinitely to learn about the events surrounding the death or abuse of their loved one at the hands of the Philadelphia Police, as the family of Brandon Tate-Brown is still left waiting.

I would appreciate it if you would please pass my message along to Commissioner Ramsey/Mayor Nutter/Mr. Williams.  Thank you and goodbye.

Additional Talking Points

Demand 1:

  • There has been a lack of transparency in the police department’s handling of Brandon’s killing. Brandon’s mother, Tanya Brown-Dickerson, was forced to learn about her son’s death from news reports.  When she tried to ascertain clarity around his killing, she was met with hostility from the police department and explicit racial attacks in one instance.
  • The media has recently reported that the police officers involved have returned to active street duty, so it is even more pressing for us to know the names of the officers involved. We deserve to know if these officers are patrolling our communities.
  • Police Commissioner Ramsey has refused to share the names of the officers with Brandon’s family, the media, the public, or even the Police Advisory Commission. This is unacceptable, and is in stark contrast to standard police procedure in cities across the United States, cities such as Ferguson, New York, and Cleveland, as evidenced by recent highly publicized instances of police-perpetrated shootings.

Demand 2:

  • Stores near the incident recorded it on their surveillance cameras, but police have as of yet refused to release the footage. There are many inconsistencies and questions in the story the police have told about the incident. If they want us to believe them, they must release the footage.
  • News footage taken shortly after the shooting show the headlights of the vehicle that Brandon was driving were on at that point.  Also, it is unclear as to why Brandon would initially comply with the officer’s request to step out of the vehicle, only to initiate a struggle against the officers.  Further, it is unclear as to how a fatal shot to the back of Brandon’s head could be deemed “justified”. If in fact it was a “justified homicide”, then the Department, the District Attorney’s office, and the city should have no reason not to order the public release of the video.  The video would clear up many of the questions surrounding the case as well as the inconsistencies within the Department’s narrative.
  • In other cities, surveillance footage of recent police shootings were released even as investigations were ongoing.  Examples include the footage of Tamir Rice’s killing in Cleveland and the shooting of John Crawford in a Walmart in Dayton, OH.

Demand 3:

  • Police Commissioner Ramsey has refused to release information on Brandon’s case and other cases of police-involved shootings and excessive police conduct to the Police Advisory Commission (PAC), in violation of the 1993 Executive Order which established the Commission.
  • The Police Advisory Commission (PAC) is an oversight board created to provide independent review of police misconduct, but they are unable to do this because they are underfunded and understaffed, there is no real representation of community members on the board, and the board has no power to ensure that their decisions are enforced.
  • We demand a community review board that is accountable to the community, completely independent of current or former law enforcement agents or other stakeholders within the legal and judicial system, and has real enforcement power.
  • In the meantime, we demand that the Philadelphia Police Department comply with the Executive Order that instated the PAC, and share all information on internal investigations of police conduct with the currently existing PAC.
  • Earlier in February, Seth Williams told the LA Times that the creation of independent entities that investigate police abuse is not necessary, as it is his responsibility to investigate them.  Taking Brandon’s case into consideration, he should be urged to reconsider that statement.
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