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Thursday, September 10, 2009

[WA] "...As a victim of abuse inflicted by the police chief, where could she turn?..."

"...AS A VICTIM OF ABUSE INFLICTED BY THE POLICE CHIEF, WHERE COULD SHE TURN?... PERHAPS THERE IS NO SAFE PLACE FOR THOSE ASSAULTED BY PEOPLE IN SUCH CLOSED SOCIETIES AS THE POLICE AND MILITARY. THEREFORE, WE MUST CREATE ONE..."

While searching out other information this morning I found this writing. The need still stands, unfulfilled.

Source: Op-Ed: Assault Allegations Should be Met with Independent Queries,
Connections:
A Biannual Publication Of The Washington Coalition Of Sexual Assault Programs,
Volume Iv, Number II,
Sherina James,
Spring/Summer 2003

[Excerpts] What can be done when those who are supposed to keep us safe are harming us? In the aftermath of the murder of Crystal Brame [Judson] in Pierce County, women are left to wonder how they can seek out safety when assault and abuse go uninvestigated at the highest level in our police force. As a state and a community, we are shocked and horrified at the facts that have come to light as a result of the murder of Crystal and the suicide of her husband, former Tacoma police Chief David Brame... Why wasn’t the woman who says Brame raped her believed when she came forward in 1988? Now we in the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs are asking questions, but those questions need to go beyond finding out who had knowledge of the allegations of Brame’s violent history. We also need to hold institutions of authority — such as law enforcement and the military — accountable when they use job titles, positions of power or training and resources to abuse, hurt and or manipulate others... Crystal Brame sought assistance to remove herself from the abuse and from an abuser, as many women do. In this case, her abuser was in a position of power in the city. He had been given the authority by the city of Tacoma to enforce the law. As a victim of abuse inflicted by the police chief, where could she turn? Unless the institutions of power in our communities believe and support victims of sexual and domestic violence, and seek to provide a community free of such violence, there will be other tragedies like this one. As advocates for sexual assault victims, Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs argues that perhaps there is no safe place for those assaulted by people in such closed societies as the police and military. Therefore, we must create one. An independent supervisory body should be established to make sure that sexual-assault complaints against law enforcement personnel are fully investigated and that victims receive the full support and protections they are entitled to by law, no matter what the occupation of the alleged abuser is. Sexual assault and domestic violence occur at all socioeconomic levels, in all communities and to all groups of people. Training for law enforcement and government officials on these issues may be an answer, but ultimately the public must demand permanent changes in city policies and procedures. We can no longer expect the police to police themselves, and we all must hold them accountable for their actions or lack thereof. We must be able to keep our communities safe from sexual and domestic violence. To do so requires that all offenders be held accountable, no matter what. [Full article here, PDF file]
[police officer involved domestic violence law enforcement fatality fatalities murder independent oversight citizen review tacoma police department washington]

2 comments:

  1. 2003_04 NOWHERE TO TURN_UPFRONT WITH ROBERT MAK_K5


    [NOWHERE TO TURN]
    King5 News Up Front
    with Robert Mak
    http://www.king5.com/upfront/showSupplement.jsp?fldid=201

    Taking the job home?

    How does a domestic violence victim turn to police, when the abuser is an officer?

    A MAN SHOOTS HIS WIFE--THEN KILLS HIMSELF--

    ON THE 9-1-1 CALL--YOU HEAR THE COUPLE'S TWO YOUNG CHILDREN--SCREAMING IN THE BACKGROUND.

    =====/911 CALL/=====

    "Rite aid in Gig Harbor."
    "My mom."
    "4500 Drive."
    "My mom."
    "Two people shot."

    =====/ROBERT MAK/=====

    IT DOESN'T TAKE LONG--FOR POLICE REALIZE--THE MAN WHO PULLED THE TRIGGER--WAS ONE OF THEIR OWN.

    =====/JIM MATTHEIS/TACOMA POLICE DEPARTMENT/=====

    "The victims were chief of the Tacoma Police Department and his wife."

    =====/ROBERT MAK/=====

    IT'S A MURDER-SUICIDE--
    THAT HAS TORN APART THE CITY.

    HOW COULD POLICE CHIEF DAVID BRAME--
    KILL HIS WIFE AND HIMSELF?

    HOW DID A YOUNG TACOMA MOTHER--
    LOSE HER LIFE--

    IN AN ABUSIVE MARRIAGE?

    =====/JUDY HELLSTROM/GODMOTHER/=====

    "Devastated, feel like I've lost one of my own."

    =====/ROBERT MAK/=====

    JUDY HELLSTROM--
    WAS CRYSTAL BRAME'S GODMOTHER.

    SHE REMEMBERS A BRIGHT GIRL--
    WHO LOVED TO ICE SKATE--
    EXCELLED AT BALLET--
    THEN CHEERLEADING AND TENNIS--

    AND AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON--
    THE YOUNG WOMAN FOUND HER INTEREST--
    IN LAW, THE COURTS--
    AND POLICE.

    =====/MAK/=====

    "What did you think when she decided to go into criminal justice?"

    =====/JUDY HELLSTROM/GODMOTHER/=====

    "I just thought, this tiny little thing, she's doing this, but hey, they come in all sizes."

    =====/ROBERT MAK/=====

    NOT LONG AFTER GRADUATION--
    SHE MET A YOUNG POLICE OFFICER--
    DAVID BRAME.

    =====/JUDY HELLSTROM/GODMOTHER/=====

    "The families were acquainted from way back when. He was a young boy cause we, his father and mother were our generation and when Pat and I worked at the bank, his dad was a patrolman in Tacoma."

    =====/ROBERT MAK/=====

    DAVID BRAME QUCKLY ROSE THROUGH THE RANKS--
    BUT IN COURT DOCUMENTS--
    HIS WIFE DESCRIBES A MARRIAGE--
    THAT WAS QUICKLY GOING SOUR.

    SHE DESCRIBES YEARS OF PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL ABUSE.

    AND YET--
    SHE SAYS--
    SHE HESITATED TO COME FORWARD.

    QUOTE:

    "My husband is a high-ranking official with the Tacoma Police Department. I knew that a personal restraining order would possibly cause my husband embarrassment as well as the possibility that it might affect him with his job."

    ReplyDelete
  2. [CONTINUED]

    =====/"DEBBI"/FORMER OFFICER SPOUSE/=====

    "They're trained to be intimidating, they're trained to be in control."

    =====/ROBERT MAK/=====

    THIS WOMAN--
    SAYS CRYSTAL BRAME'S STORY--
    IS ALL TOO FAMILIAR.

    SHE TOO--
    SAYS SHE WAS MARRIED TO AN ABUSIVE POLICE OFFICER--
    15 YEARS AGO.

    AND SHE SAYS--
    WHEN THE ABUSER IS AN OFFICER--
    THE VICTIM FEELS INCREDIBLY TRAPPED.

    =====/"DEBBI"/FORMER OFFICER SPOUSE/=====

    "And where am I going to go? How do you get somebody who's six-foot-two, two-hundred-50 pounds and carries a gun out of your house? That was the biggest thing, is how do you get him out of there?"

    =====/ROBERT MAK/=====

    ACROSS THE COUNTRY--
    SPOUSES OF POLICE OFFICERS HAVE A NETWORK--
    SHARING STORIES OF ABUSE.

    ARE OFFICERS MORE PRONE--
    TO COMMIT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

    IF YOU LOOK AT DAVID BRAME'S PERSONNEL FILE--
    YOU'LL FIND PAGE AFTER PAGE--
    OF COMMENDATIONS--
    FOR SITUATIONS THAT REQUIRED HIM--
    TO BE AUTHORITATIVE--
    AND TO TAKE CONTROL:

    SUSPECTS THREATENING HIM WITH A KNIFE--
    HIGH-SPEED CHASES AFTER BANK ROBBERIES--
    CONFRONTATIONS WITH ARMED SUSPECTS.

    =====/"DEBBI"/FORMER OFFICER SPOUSE/=====

    "They can be very, very intimidating. And they can say and do things that are very intimidating. And yet they go out and do their jobs and everybody thinks they're wonderful."

    =====/ROBERT MAK/=====

    IN DIVORCE PAPERS--
    CRYSTAL BRAME SAYS:

    "My husband choked me and threatened that he could snap my neck if he wanted to."

    "My husband pointed his service revolver at me, telling me, 'accidents happen.'"

    BUT IT'S MORE THAN JUST THE POLICE TRAINING.

    CRYSTAL BRAME TOLD A PSYCHOLOGIST--
    THAT IF SHE TRIED TO LEAVE--
    BRAME HAD THREATENED TO:

    "use his position in the police department to convince people that she was mentally ill and discredit her."

    =====/"DEBBI"/FORMER OFFICER SPOUSE/=====

    "You know you have this feeling that there's this brotherhood which there is, and you're not going to be believed."

    =====/ROBERT MAK/=====

    ON APRIL 11TH--
    CRYSTAL BRAME HAD GONE TO STAY WITH HER PARENTS.

    HER HUSBAND--
    SHOWED UP NOT JUST BY HIMSELF--
    BUT WITH THE ASSISTANT CHIEF--
    CATHERINE WOODARD.

    =====/CATHERINE WOODARD/TACOMA ASST. POLICE CHIEF/=====

    "It was a civil matter. Nothing happened, nothing was done wrong."

    =====/ROBERT MAK/=====

    BUT CRYSTAL BRAME SAW IT DIFFERENTLY--
    CALLING 9-1-1:

    =====/CRYSTAL BRAME/911 CALL/=====

    "He brought one of the assistant chiefs here who was an unwanted guest who has intimidated and threatened me while we're doing this divorce process. And it has already made known to the attorney she was not to have any further contact with me."

    =====/ROBERT MAK/=====

    WOODARD IS NOW ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE--

    BUT THE ENTIRE CASE--
    RAISES SOME DISTURBING QUESTIONS:

    IS THERE IN FACT--
    A CODE OF SILENCE?

    DO SOME POLICE OFFICERS--
    CARRY THEIR JOBS HOME WITH THEM?

    AND ARE SPOUSES--
    LEFT WITH NO WHERE TO TURN?

    ReplyDelete

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