Judge Allows Lawsuit in Brandon Tate-Brown Police Shooting to Proceed

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  • 8/18/2019 Judge Allows Lawsuit in Brandon Tate-Brown Police Shooting to Proceed

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    Mildenberg Law Firm, p.c. attorneys at law

    1735 Market Street

    suite 3750

    Philadelphia, PA 19103

    tel (215) 545-4870

    fax (215) 545-4871

    www.MildenbergLaw.com

    April 25, 2016 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    IN RE: BRANDON TATE-BROWN v. CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, POLICE

    OFFICER NICHOLAS CARRELLI, POLICE OFFICER HENG DANG

    FEDERAL COURT OPINION RELEASED TODAY:

    CIVIL RIGHTS CLAIMS AGAINST THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA FOR THE

     DEATH OF BRANDON TATE BROWN WILL NOT BE DISMISSED; CLAIMS FOR

    WRONGFUL DEATH, ASSAULT, BATTERY, WRONGFUL ARREST TO

     PROCEED AGAINST POLICE OFFICERS

    STATEMENT OF TANYA BROWN-DICKERSON,

    MOTHER OF BRANDON-TATE BROWN: 

    “I am relieved and gratified that the federal court denied the City’s Motion to  Dismiss all claims in this lawsuit and look forward to our day in court when the police

    officers will have to answer for their changing stories and explain to a federal jury why they killed Brandon-Tate Brown when they now admit he was not reaching into his

    vehicle for a gun when thy shot him in the back of the head.”

    STATEMENT OF BRIAN R. MILDENBERG, ESQUIRE:

    “Today, the Honorable Stewart Dalzell, Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, entered an Opinion and Order denying

    substantial parts of the City of Philadelphia’s Motion to Dismiss the federal lawsuit currently pending over the shooting death of Brandon Tate-Brown.

    In a 20-page opinion, the federal court held that the central allegations and

    cause of action for civil rights violations against the City of Philadelphia, and the individual police officers, will not be dismissed. Claims for assault, battery, false arrest,

    excessive force, and wrongful death, against the individual police officers, also were not dismissed.

    For jurisdictional reasons, the Court dismissed all class action aspects of the

    case, finding that since Brandon Tate-Brown was deceased, his estate lacked standing to  pursue the claims on behalf of a class of victims. The court found that only a victim who

    is still alive would have the required standing to bring claims for reform on behalf of other victims. But the court declined to dismiss the individual civil rights claims against

    the City and the Police Officers for the death of Brandon Tate-Brown, and those will now  proceed to the discovery phase and ultimately towards trial.

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    Mildenberg Law Firm, p.c. attorneys at law

    www.mildenberglaw.com

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    IN RE: BRANDON TATE-BROWN v. CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, POLICE

    OFFICER NICHOLAS CARRELLI, POLICE OFFICER HENG DANG

    April 25, 2016

    Page 2  ______________________  

    The court also dismissed several claims brought relating to allegations of

    racial discrimination in the treatment of Brandon Tate-Brown, finding that there was insufficient evidence, at this stage, of racial motivation for the actions of the Philadelphia

    Police Department.

     Notably, the Court’s Opinion stated as follows:

     Plaintiff alleges that because Officers Carrelli and Dang were improperly

    trained, they stopped Tate-Brown without any reasonable suspicion or  probable cause, escalated the traffic stop unnecessarily, engaged in a violent

    confrontation, and eventually killed him. Plaintiff further alleges that PPD officers do not receive regular, consistent training on the Department’s use of

    deadly force policy, that they receive only cursory de- escalation training, do not regularly receive in-service training on threat perception, decision-

    making, and de-escalation, and do not receive in-service defensive tactics training. First Am. Compl. ¶ 114.

     In the procedural posture of a motion to dismiss, a claim is plausible if the

     plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the Court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the alleged misconduct. Iqbal, 556

    U.S. at 678. Although defendants are correct that not all of the changes recommended in the DOJ Report pertain to the types of events that led to

    Tate- Brown’s death, plaintiff has identified a number that do. Plaintiff ha[s] done more than point to improvements which could be made. All of the DOJ

     Report’s recommendations come from identified deficiencies in the existing training. At this early stage, plaintiff has pled sufficient facts that, if accepted

    as true, could make a plausible claim that the need for more or different

    training was sufficiently obvious, and the inadequacy so likely to result in the violation of citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights, that the City could be

     found to have been deliberately indifferent . See, e.g., City of Canton, 489

    U.S. at 396 (Ginsburg, J., concurring) (explaining that Monell is satisfied when a Section 1983 plaintiff can demonstrate that the facts available to city

     policymakers put them on actual or constructive notice that the particular omission was substantially certain to result in the violation of citizens’

    constitutional rights). It would be premature to dismiss this claim without the benefit of further discovery.

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    Mildenberg Law Firm, p.c. attorneys at law

    www.mildenberglaw.com

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    IN RE: BRANDON TATE-BROWN v. CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, POLICE

    OFFICER NICHOLAS CARRELLI, POLICE OFFICER HENG DANG

    April 25, 2016

    Page 3  ______________________  

    A summary chart by this law firm showing the status of each claim after the federal court Opinion is attached to this release, along with a copy of the Opinion and

    Order.

    In closing, from the perspective of Brandon Tate-Brown’s family and

    supporters, today was an excellent day on the legal front, with the federal court allowing the case to proceed in large part. The family and supporters look forward to moving forward now towards Brandon’s day in court and continuing to fight for Justice for

    Brandon Tate-Brown. Today is a victory in that the City and the Police Officers must now answer for their actions in federal court.

    In June, 2015, after six (6) months of claiming that Brandon Tate-Brown was

    shot while reaching for a gun in the front passenger seat of his vehicle, the Police Department admitted that the story was a false narrative, and that there was no evidence

    Brandon was reaching into the front of his vehicle for a gun, but was rather shot by the rear of his vehicle. The police officers remain on duty with their guns and badges at this

    time.

     See Attachments.

    # # #

  • 8/18/2019 Judge Allows Lawsuit in Brandon Tate-Brown Police Shooting to Proceed

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