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After melee, Tate-Brown's mother calls for peace

Tanya Brown-Dickerson urged protesters to treat police with respect in wake of violent town-hall meeting.

Raucous town-hall meeting in Lawncres tled to arrests. (STEVEN M. FALK / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)
Raucous town-hall meeting in Lawncres tled to arrests. (STEVEN M. FALK / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)Read more

TANYA BROWN-DICKERSON yesterday called on those protesting the death of her son, Brandon Tate-Brown, to "behave with dignity" and treat Philadelphia police officers with respect.

She issued the message in the aftermath of a melee that unfolded during a town-hall meeting in Lawncrest on Thursday night, and ended with the arrests of 10 people.

The meeting took place hours after District Attorney Seth Williams announced that he would not file criminal charges against two police officers who fatally shot Tate-Brown during a violent struggle in Mayfair on Dec. 15.

While the gathering, held by state Rep. Mark Cohen at the Lawncrest Recreation Center, was intended to address local neighborhood concerns, a group of protesters showed up and got within inches of Williams and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, berating both for their handling of separate investigations into the Tate-Brown case.

The confrontations soon turned physical. Protesters struggled with police as folding chairs clattered across the room.

Ramsey described the scene as "embarrassing," and said the violent outburst was among the reasons why he would not release the names of the two officers who were involved with Tate-Brown's death.

Brown-Dickerson, in a statement released by her lawyer, Brian Mildenberg, said that she still wants the names of the officers released - but not now, given the "current inflammatory circumstances."

Tate-Brown's family has repeatedly called for all evidence in the case to be released publicly. His relatives have disputed allegations that Tate-Brown reached into his car for a handgun after fighting with the officers, who pulled him over for driving without his lights on.

Brown-Dickerson noted that even though she disagrees with Ramsey and Williams, both have been "kind" and "graceful" and offered their condolences.

She also said she "believes that the majority of our police officers are heroes and deserve the public's support and appreciation." reported yesterday that the phrase "Killer cops destroying communities" was scrawled in chalk on the sidewalk on Race Street near 8th, in front of Police Headquarters, along with "#whokilledbrandontatebrown."