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Bennie Branch's family says fight 'not over' after Tacoma officer cleared in fatal shooting

Bennie Branch was killed by a Tacoma police officer during a traffic stop in 2019. "There needs to be real change within the department," his sister said.

TACOMA, Wash. — Family and friends of Bennie Branch gathered outside the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office Monday, on what would've been Branch's 25th birthday.

More than two dozen people showed up to amplify their voices.

Branch was killed by Tacoma police in 2019. He was 24 when he was shot during a traffic stop in September of 2019.

According to lawyers for the Branch family, there was a scuffle when Branch was pulled over and a BB gun he had on him became dislodged. Branch was tased, but got away and was shot in the back and arms.  

On Thursday, Pierce County Prosecutor Mary Robnett legally cleared the Tacoma officer who killed Branch, of any wrongdoing. 

RELATED: Tacoma police officer cleared of wrongdoing in fatal shooting

"That decision doesn't mean that this is the end of our fight," said Janae Baker, Branch's sister. 

Baker says it might take years, but her family will continue to seek justice.

"I don't want the officer to only face charges, there needs to be real change within the department so that this won't happen again, another family won't feel what we are feeling," Baker said.

The prosecutor said the officer, Ryan Bradley, acted lawfully when he fired 11 shots at Branch, hitting him seven times. 

The prosecutor says the BB gun Branch had on him resembled a handgun and was violent in resisting police. 

Branch's family filed an excessive force claim against the city and the officer in June. 

Baker says her family is figuring out the next steps to take. 

"It's not over, you haven't stopped us, we're not gonna stop," Baker said.

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