On April 27, Tanya Brown-Dickerson, the mother of a motorist who was shot and killed by Philadelphia police officers, filed a lawsuit claiming that they planted evidence to make it seem as though her late son was reaching for a gun. Brandon Tate-Brown was killed in December during an overnight traffic stop. District Attorney Seth Williams did not charge the officers involved in Tate-Brown’s death. Tate-Brown’s family says they were shown video the police have not released that tells a different story. The family’s attorney, Brian Mildenberg, described what was seen on the video to WPVI-TV, saying, “He was behind the vehicle, running across the back of the vehicle, from left to right. And when he reached the right side, the passenger side, of his brake light is where he went down and appears to have been shot–not reaching into the car.” The lawsuit, filed in Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas, said police planted the gun later found in his car. The family is taking the police and the city to federal court with a two-part case. The first is a class action lawsuit demanding reform in the police department, and it asks for judicial oversight of the department reforms suggested by a recent federal review. The second part is for damages suffered by the family.
Last Thursday, a jury found a Detroit Transit center officer not-guilty in the 2013 fatal shooting a man outside a gas station. WDIV-Detroit reported that Robert Tyus was charged with manslaughter and felony firearm in the death of 26-year-old, Jordan West-Morson. A jury on Thursday found him not guilty on both counts. It was alleged that on May 1, 2013, West-Morson was at the gas station selling CDs when he had an argument with Tyus. The argument escalated into a fist fight. During the course of the altercation, Tyus drew a gun, and fired one shot at West-Morson.
Later on that same day, a woman died after police claimed that she opened fired while in a patrol car’s backseat. WSB-TV stated that a little after 5 p.m. on Thursday, Atlanta police said officers took 25-year-old Alexia Christian into custody after finding her in a vehicle that was reported stolen. “Shortly after that, that individual opened fire with a handgun or with a weapon firing at least twice at the officers. The officers retreated and opened fire,” said Major. Darin Schierbaum with the Atlanta Police Department. Christian was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital to be treated, but she later died from her injuries. Investigators said the officers were uninjured. The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.
Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore City’s state attorney announced last Friday the charges of six Baltimore officers ranging from murder to manslaughter in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray. The six officers were arrested and appeared before a judicial officer. According to The New York Times, Bail was set at $350,000 for four of the officers and $250,000 for the other two. By late Friday, court records showed the officers had been released from jail. A medical examiner report was also released last week, revealed that the 25-year-old’s death was a homicide.