Two Philadelphia police officers have been cleared in the shooting death of Brandon Tate-Brown during a car stop in Mayfair on Dec. 15, District Attorney Seth Williams said Friday.
"In this case the facts show a tragedy, a terrible tragedy, but not a crime," Williams said.
He said Tate-Brown was not shot while fleeing and that a handgun in his car has his DNA on it.
The death of Tate-Brown, 25, sparked weeks of protests and calls for police and prosecutors to release all evidence gathered in the case.
His family and their attorney, Brian Mildenberg, have raised questions about apparent contradictions in the initial police account of the shooting and statements from witnesses and investigators.
Williams said the officers' account of the incident was corroborated by civilian witnesses, video footage, physical evidence and DNA testing.
"This is not the case of an unarmed man shot while running away," he said. "It's the case of a struggle."
He said his office's investigation concluded the officer who fired believed Tate-Brown was reaching for a gun and used deadly force to protect himself and others.
"The officer's actions here do not constitute a crime," he said.
Tate-Brown "would not submit to their authority," repeatedly breaking away from the officers, he said.
The D.A. said he spoke to Tate-Brown's mother, Tanya Dickerson, before releasing the findings of his office's investigation.
Dickerson was "very respectful" and understood how the district attorney reached his conclusion, Williams said. But, he acknowledged, the grieving woman may wish for a different result.
"I understand that wholeheartedly," he said.
"All that I can do is evaluate the facts and the evidence and apply the law," Williams said.
Mildenberg, the Tate-Brown family's attorney, later held a news conference outside City Hall, saying, "I'm not here to argue against the discretion of district attorney."
With Dickerson at his side, he indicated a lawsuit was planned.
"There is a substantial difference between a civil and a criminal case," he said.
Mildenberg said the family does not believe the statement that Tate-Brown was reaching for gun matches video they were shown.
"I want you all to see what we saw. And I want you to make a decision," Dickerson said.
"I choked and I cried," Dickerson said of when she learned there would be no charges against the officers in her son's death.
The two officers involved in the shooting have never been identified and returned to duty sometime after Tate-Brown's death.
Williams said that after the officers pulled over Tate-Brown for driving with his day lights at night, one officer noticed a gun tucked between a console and the passenger seat and mouthed the word "gun" to his partner, who then asked the driver step out of the car.
That's when the struggle began, Williams said.
"It seemed like he was trying to get something out of the car," said one witness, whose words were projected on a screen at Williams' news conference.
"The officers definitely showed a lot of restraint" before the struggle began, the same witness said.