TACOMA, Wash. - A local family said they’re constantly reliving their brother’s killing, especially now when deadly encounters with police are under heightened scrutiny.
The Tacoma man was shot and killed by Tacoma Police last year while checking on his mother who was homeless. The family attorney says they will get justice for his murder.
September 8th, 2019. 24-year-old Bennie Branch was shot and killed by Tacoma Police right in front of his mother. She was homeless, reportedly living out of a car and Bennie was there to check on her.
“She is constantly saying I made my son surrender for them to kill him in front of me and it eats her up,” said Bennie’s sister, Janae.
Bennie’s brother, sisters, and grandmother all appeared via zoom for a press conference to announce a lawsuit the family’s attorneys are filing against Tacoma Police officer Ryan Bradley and the city of Tacoma. Renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump joining this fight with the Herrmann Law Group.
“There needs to be more accountability, more transparency here in Tacoma and the Bennie branch family deserve answers and that’s what we’re set out here to do,” said Attorney, Lara Herrmann.
Attorneys said Bennie’s mother is the lone witness to her son’s death it’s her word against the officers who fired those fatal shots.
Tacoma Police said Bennie had a gun on him that night but his attorneys say it was a bb gun and that it was kicked away before he was shot.
“The evidence will be that he no longer had the pistol on him at the time he was shot because it was dropped and he was running away when he was shot in the back,” said attorney Dale Galipo.
The pain of it all is still palpable for Bennie’s family.
We’re constantly reliving it and once again we have to relive it again,” said Bennie’s sister Angelina.
They’re holding onto fond memories of a young man with so much life to live.
“Bennie was a sweetheart, he loved his family, he loved his nieces and nephews he loved being around his family,” said Angelina.
They’re still grieving with renewed hope for the truth to prevail.
Tacoma Police does not have body cameras so right now there is no known video of the shooting.
We reached out to Tacoma police for comment but we have not heard back.