Black talk radio host joins a cohort of Philadelphians demanding justice for Mr. Brandon Tate-Brown.
His voice, of a baritone nature and made for radio, gave utterance to the unexpected: a plea to the City’s clergy to be on the right side of history by demanding justice for Mr. Brandon Tate-Brown, a 26 year-old black Philadelphian who was killed by Mr. Nicholas Carrelli, a white Philadelphia police officer, while unarmed and fleeing on December 15th, 2014.
Mr. Nick Taliaferro, a reverend, drive-time radio host for 900am WURD and a former Director for the Mayor’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives under the Street Administration, last Friday at the top his show – on which I appear weekly to review #TheWeekThatWas – dedicated several minutes to the cause, saying he would be drafting a statement and urging his associates in the ministry to co-sign the statement and join the cohort of Philadelphians calling on Mr. Seth Williams, the District Attorney, to re-open the criminal investigation into the death of Mr. Tate-Brown, which originally was justified as self-defense – Mr. Carrelli said Mr. Tate-Brown was reaching into his car for a gun – but later clarified by the police commissioner as a shooting of a fleeing suspect, and the former narrative, confirmed as false, was attributed to a rush to fed the media.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner, Mr. Charles Ramsey, said in June of 2015 that there’s no evidence that Mr. Tate-Brown was reaching for a gun, but witnesses say that he was attempting to make it back to his car, and officers confirmed there was a gun inside.
Mr. Williams appeared on Mr. Taliaferro’s show on September 10th and was asked about re-opening the case. He said no new evidence exist that would justify that action.
Mr. Williams, who thinks of himself as a “minister of justice,” and Mr. Ramsey, the President’s pick to co-chair a task force on 21st Century Policing, are about the only two in the City who are comfortable with leaving the case closed, not scrutinizing further the conflicting statements made by the shooter nor analyzing why Mr. Tate-Brown’s body was face-up, feet crossed at the passenger door when the video shows him being shot in the back of his head near the trunk and falling forward.
Mr. Kelvyn Anderson, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Police Advisory Commission, told me that his board is considering calling for an independent investigation into the shooting, removing the District Attorney out of the equation completely.
Black civic and faith leaders, once on the side of Mr. Williams, have joined the Tate-Brown family, suggesting that Mr. Williams misled them by not showing them all the videos, particularly the one that shows Mr. Tate-Brown being shot near the trunk.
Ms. Tanya Brown-Dickerson, the mother of Mr. Tate-Brown, for months contended that her son was not reaching for a gun when shot, and demanded that the public see the video she saw, which showed her son doing the exact opposite of what police claimed.
Some activists are claiming a cover-up by police and prosecutorial misconduct by the District Attorney, who investigated the officer-involved shooting based on a lie.
For the District Attorney, now isolated from many of Philadelphia’s influential black leaders, the claim of prosecutorial misconduct isn’t new.
In fact, this week marks the two-year anniversary of an activist bailing out Mr. Tomayo McDuffy, a teenager at the time who was facing up to 80 years in jail because Philadelphia police officers failed to investigate the false claims made by a habitual and handicapped troublemaker, and the DA failed to protect the innocent, which is the part of the job he doesn’t seem to fancy as much as prosecuting the bad guys.
Mr. McDuffy was cleared of all wrong-doing in a very similar fashion to how activists are pursuing justice for Mr. Tate-Brown: relentless protesting in front his office (and around the City) and gathering evidence via a private investigation.
Mr. Greg Brinkley was the activist who bailed out Mr. McDuffy, and he, along with his partner Mr. Edward Lloyd, dug up the evidence that showed minutes before being pulled over for having his headlights off, Mr. Tate-Brown was in a 7-11 parking lot with his headlights on.
Mr. Brinkley, who was the first to call foul play in Mr. Tate-Brown’s death, is among the DA’s most vocal critics, calling for his resignation multiple times.
What enrages Mr. Brinkley about the District Attorney of Philadelphia is his indifference to the plight of black boys as it pertains to police misconduct and violence.
This year, in the case of Mr. Tate-Brown, as he was two years ago in the case of Mr. McDuffy, Mr. Williams is on the wrong side of history.
* Tune into 900amWURD or 900amWURD.com every Friday evening at 6:30pm to hear me relive #TheWeekThatWas*
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™