The day after protesters clashed with police at a community meeting following the announcement that two officers would not be charged in the death of Brandon Tate-Brown, his mother released a statement rejecting "non-peaceful" actions in her son's name.
In the statement, released Friday by her lawyer, Tanya Brown-Dickerson called for supporters "who want to protest her son's death at a public event to do so peacefully and to act respectfully toward all public officials and police officers in the process of peacefully protesting."
On Thursday night, District Attorney Seth Williams and Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey attended a scheduled community meeting. As Ramsey began to talk, several dozen protesters erupted in chants, then advanced toward the panel, seated at the front of the auditorium.
They shouted curses in the faces of Ramsey and Williams until officers tried to push them back. That's when the protest turned violent, with people being knocked to the ground and folding chairs being kicked across the floor. The meeting resumed after a 24-minute disruption. Ten people were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
Brown-Dickerson praised Williams and Ramsey as "kind, professional, graceful, and fully appropriate in their dealings and interactions" with her. "Any protesters who speak to these public servants disrespectfully are urged to behave with dignity," her statement said.
She said she believes "the majority of our police officers are heroes and deserve the public's support and appreciation." She added that she "respectfully disagrees" with Ramsey and Williams "concerning several aspects of this case."
The statement, released by lawyer Brian R. Mildenberg late Friday afternoon, said she "seeks for the entire truth of the shooting incident to be brought forth and respectfully requests the release of all evidence in the case."
Tate-Brown, 25, was fatally shot during a Dec. 15 traffic stop in Mayfair. A struggle ensued after, police said, officers saw a gun in the car. Williams announced Thursday that he would not pursue criminal charges against the two officers involved in the stop. The officers also were cleared by an Internal Affairs investigation and are back on street duty.
One protest organizer, who is Tate-Brown's cousin, said the demonstrations would continue until authorities release the names of the officers involved and video of the encounter.
Asa Khalif, president of the Philadelphia and New York chapters of the organization Racial Unity USA, said the disruption at Thursday's meeting had been planned.
Khalif, who was arrested, said the protesters had planned no violence against the police or anyone at the meeting.
He contended that the confrontation erupted when a person at the meeting attempted to strike a protester, and others began throwing chairs. "If people are coming at us with chairs, we have a right to defend ourselves, too," he said.
He said supporters wrote "killer cops destroying communities" and "#whokilledbrandontatebrown" on the pavement in chalk outside Police Headquarters as they waited for Khalif and fellow protesters to be released Thursday night.
He said protests would continue "until we get the names of the two police officers, and until the tapes are released to the public."
In her statement, Tate-Brown's mother said she wanted to know the names of the officers involved in her son's death, but "rejects the call that these names be released to the public at this time due to the current inflammatory circumstances."
Lt. John Stanford, a police spokesman, said the protesters crossed the line with physical violence.
"Everyone has a right to protest. Everyone has a right to speech," said Stanford, pointing out that the department has facilitated protests and marches in recent months. Resorting to violence, he said, "that's not your First Amendment right."