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Friday, April 23, 2004

"A case against 'Tacoma Immunity" [New Takhoman]

...Who in the police department and city government were aware that Brame had been accused of rape and domestic violence?...Who else has a gun and badge that failed their psychological screening?...

Letter to the Editor of The NewTakhoman

A case against 'Tacoma Immunity

The New Takhoman
Robert Shambeau, Tacoma
April 23rd, 2004
Vol 4, No 80

The real problem is an epidemic of elitism. Both Brame and Corpuz demanded loyalty above all else. Unfortunately, most of their collective appointments have yet to be removed from office. Arrogance amongst the city government's top officials has and will cost the taxpayers dearly. After all, it isn't actually their money being spent to defend their reckless actions. In the end, the city will be exposed for a huge liability for Crystal Brame's wrongful death. All of the facts have yet to come out and already the case against the city is overwhelming. How many trial lawyers have the luxury of having the fruit of independent investigations to make their case? Not to mention the prying eyes of the media, who are still publishing even more of Brame's many indiscretions, and the city's woeful lack of oversight.

Remember, just days before the shootings, Baarsma was telling the media that Brame was doing a 'stellar' job. Was his conduct really 'stellar', or was the mayor oblivious to the actions of his golden boy? Then there is Corpuz, who untruthfully told the media that there had been no calls for an investigation of Brame, when in fact he told Woodard two weeks prior that an anonymous complaint would not be investigated?

The city council has already tacitly admitted liability by making Brame's family an offer of $8 million dollars. It seems like every two weeks new failings of Tacoma city government are published. As the discovery phase of the lawsuit is about to unfold, ask yourself some key questions. What will happen when Luvera gets a hold of ALL of the psychological screenings from all current and former police officers? What will happen when not if, under oath, key witnesses and or defendants contradict each other?

If it isn't already obvious, a clear pattern of negligence is emerging. From Brame's questionable hiring through his abysmal appointment to Chief, to his meltdown witnessed by everyone at the top, then on to clear warning signs of depression, desperation, obsession, harassment, abuse of power, and finally irrational anger. Can you imagine being a high ranking cop or city official with something to hide facing Luvera's deposition?

There is a very small and shrinking group who actually thinks that in the end, the city isn't liable for Crystal Brame's murder. Among the many things this group fails to see is that by allowing the case to make its way through the court system is that the entire city government and especially the police department will lose its credibility. How many 'baby brame' lawsuits will follow? Ray Roberts, Jim Swilley, Valencia Brooks, Brame's sexual harassment victim, even the New Takhoman's John Hathaway and Phil Knutsen.

Here is a quote from one of the attorneys hired by the city:

"There's a difference between a moral or ethical obligation and a legal obligation," Novasky said. "The question in litigation like this is: Was the city legally obligated to respond or protect Crystal or take action against David Brame based on information it did or did not have? The answer is ultimately what the court decides or the jury decides."

Maybe Novasky should take the time to read RCW 10.99.030? Here are some of the highlights:

1) All training relating to the handling of domestic violence complaints by law enforcement officers shall stress enforcement of criminal laws in domestic situations, availability of community resources, and protection of the victim. Law enforcement agencies and community organizations with expertise in the issue of domestic violence shall cooperate in all aspects of such training.

2) The course of instruction,.... focus on enforcing the criminal laws, safety of the victim, and holding the perpetrator accountable for the violence. The curriculum shall include ... the importance of criminal justice intervention, techniques for responding ... that promote victim safety, investigation and interviewing skills, evidence gathering and report writing, assistance to and services for victims and children, verification and enforcement of court orders, liability, and any additional provisions that are necessary to carry out the intention of this subsection.

(5) The primary duty of peace officers, when responding to a domestic violence situation, is to enforce the laws allegedly violated and to protect the complaining party.

(6)(a) When a peace officer responds to a domestic violence call and has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, the peace officer shall exercise arrest powers with reference to the criteria in RCW 10.31.100. The officer shall notify the victim of the victim's right to initiate a criminal proceeding in all cases where the officer has not exercised arrest powers or decided to initiate criminal proceedings by citation or otherwise. The parties in such cases shall also be advised of the importance of preserving evidence.

(b) A peace officer responding to a domestic violence call shall take a complete offense report including the officer's disposition of the case.

(10) Each law enforcement agency shall make as soon as practicable a written record and shall maintain records of all incidents of domestic violence reported to it.

Key questions the people have a right to have answered:

Who in the police department and city government were aware that Brame had been accused of rape and domestic violence?

To what extent did then Mayor-Elect Baarsma lobby for Brame's appointment for Chief?

What really happened during the April 25, 2003 Human Resources/City Attorney meeting?

Assuming that the Jenkinson version of the meeting is true, then the more important question is: Why wasn't she concerned about the Chief's off duty conduct?

Who else has a gun and badge that failed their psychological screening?

What will be the official policy of city leaders with regards to intimate relationships of city employees?

How long can a city employee remain on administrative leave while an investigation is pending?

When will the recommendations of the Buraker audit be implemented?

When will the citizens of Tacoma get civilian oversight of the police department?

How much would it of cost to keep Tacoma's liability policy at $20 million?

Who made the decision to drop the insurance coverage?

What is the threshold of evidence and testimony that will trigger an internal investigation?

Who stonewalled the investigation into Brame's misconduct?

If the city did nothing wrong, why did they adopt a domestic violence policy?

Does anyone in the city attorney's office have a pre existing relationship with any lawyers at Burgess Fitzer?

Why wasn't either of the Brame's allegations of domestic violence, submitted under penalty of perjury, investigated?

1 comment:

  1. http://lookingformyescape.blogspot.com/2015/02/hello-pierce-county-sheriffs-department.html

    My abuser got the same pass. Welcome to Pierce County 3 arrests, 2 aliases and counting and he gets to walk.....


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