Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement



feminist wire | daily newsbriefs


Police Chief’s Wife Dies; Reports of Abuse Continue to Surface

After filing for divorce to escape more than a decade of abuse, Crystal Brame, the estranged wife of Tacoma Washington Police Chief David Brame, died Saturday after clinging to life for nearly a week. On April 26, Crystal was shot by her husband, who then turned the gun on himself in front of the couple’s two children after they met in a shopping mall parking lot.

In the two weeks following the shooting, reports have begun to surface about David Brame’s history including a 1988 date rape. According to Margaret Moore, director of FMF’s National Center for Women and Policing “Brame’s behavior was a classic profile of a police domestic abuser. There were indications that were ignored by the department and the elected officials. Police family violence policies should be mandatory for every department.”

The shooting occurred just one day after reports of David Brame’s abusive behavior – detailed in divorce proceedings – became public and Tacoma officials urged that his gun be taken away. City Attorney Robin Jenkinson rejected that recommendation on grounds that “divorce was none of the city’s business,” the Washington Post reported. Under the Lautenberg Amendment or Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban that was approved by Congress in 1996, anyone convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor is prohibited from owning a gun – including police officers.

Reports that David Brame date-raped a woman at gunpoint in 1988 had started to resurface more than a month before the shooting incident, according to the Associated Press. The woman, who claims that Brame forced her to have sex with him at gunpoint after a date, reported the incident to a police officer shortly afterwards. The alleged rape was investigated and the complaint was declared, “not sustained,” by then Police Chief Ray Fjetland, according to the AP. Fjetland told the woman that Brame would be sent to a police psychologist. In addition, in 1981 a police psychologist declared Brame “unfit for police work,” according to the Post.

The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs is conducting an investigation into Brame’s career with the Tacoma Police Department and his promotion to police chief.

LEARN MORE For the victims of police family violence, you are not alone. Get help now

ASK A QUESTION Renae Griggs, Executive Director of the National Police Family Violence Prevention Project will be answering questions until Friday, May 9 about the issue of police family violence

Media Resources: Washington Post 5/5/03; Associated Press 5/5/03; Seattle Times 5/4/03, 5/2/03; Seattle Post-Intelligencer 5/3/03

© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.



Send to a Friend

More Feminist News

8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska. The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services. The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge. Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska. "By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read. "We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/27/2015 Los Angeles Mayor Announces Model Gender Equity Directive - On Women's Equality Day Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of Los Angeles, signed a progressive and inclusive executive directive to take a major step toward gender equity for the city and to be a model for other cities. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections. This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .