Crime

Man fatally shot by Tacoma police during traffic stop has been identified

Washington state crimes by the numbers

The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs 2017 Crime in Washington Annual Report details crimes against persons, property and society statistics from agencies that serve about 92% of the state.
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The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs 2017 Crime in Washington Annual Report details crimes against persons, property and society statistics from agencies that serve about 92% of the state.

A 24-year-old man fatally shot by Tacoma police during a traffic stop has been identified as Bennie Branch.

Branch was pulled over about 2:40 a.m. Sunday in the 3400 block of Portland Avenue.

After some kind of altercation, an officer shot Branch. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Details about what led up to the shooting and why Branch was stopped have not been released.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department is heading the investigation due to a new state law that prevents law enforcement agencies from investigating their own officer-involved shootings.

Branch had warrants out for his arrest at the time of the shooting and an Airsoft gun belonging to Branch was found at the scene, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

The officer, who has been with the Tacoma Police Department for four years, was not injured.

He was placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure after a police shooting.

Family members said Branch was in the area checking on his mother, who is homeless, when officers stopped him.

They said he did not do anything to warrant being shot.

“He was not a perfect kid, but he was a loving kid,” his uncle, Jackie Johnson, told KIRO-TV. Police “messed up and they need to admit that they messed up.”

Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.
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