Rafael Briscoe, 18

Washington, District of Columbia
April 26, 2011

Agencies: Metropolitan Police Department District of Columbia

Cause of death: Shooting

Follow This Case

Last updated: almost 4 years ago


MPD surveillance video shows the former track star running from an unmarked D.C. police car filled with officers. Lawyers for the police department said the teen was seen carrying a gun, while Briscoe's family lawyer, Billy Ponds, said what police are interpreting as a weapon is simply his finger and his cell phone.

Neither side disputes a single, fatal shot was then fired from the unmarked police car, but Ponds said a BB gun was thrown from the car toward Briscoe's body. Still images taken from the crime scene show the gun broken in two pieces.

"[The video] did not depict Rafael turning toward the [car]. I'm astounded and ashamed by the outcome in the case," Ponds said.

Briscoe's mother Bridzette Lane Friday vowed to keep fighting to defend her son.

"Looking at the video, it was a drive-by on him," Lane said. "So I'm just angry. I'm very, very angry. I'm not going to stop until justice is served for my son."

The American Civil Liberties Union is using Briscoe's death to call for an end to MPD's long-used anti-crime tactic known as "jump out squads." Monica Hopkins-Maxwell, the head of D.C.'s ACLU, told News4 the unmarked cars police use in similar cases should be clearly marked.

Legal Action

February 2015 Officers cleared

Community and Family Efforts

December 2015 Black Lives Matter Protest