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Family of Chief's Wife Sues City Over Slaying

June 10, 2003|From Associated Press

TACOMA, Wash. — Relatives of the wife of the former police chief, who killed her and himself in a parking lot shooting, filed a $75-million claim Monday alleging that city officials had ignored danger signs about the man.

Police Chief David Brame shot his estranged wife, Crystal, and himself on April 26 in suburban Gig Harbor.

Since the killing, the Washington State Patrol has been investigating his career, including a date rape allegation against him in the late 1980s and his performance on a psychological test in the early 1980s that found him unfit for duty.

The claim filed with the City Clerk's Office by Crystal Brame's family alleges that the city failed to respond to "several pieces of information that should have triggered actions to protect Crystal from David, including evidence of psychological problems that could lead to violence, domestic abuse allegations and a history of rape and sexual harassment allegations."

It contends the city "ignored or deliberately covered up facts that dictated a need for preventive action."

The city has 60 days to respond. If the two sides cannot agree on a resolution, the claim may be filed as a lawsuit. A city spokeswoman did not respond to a call seeking comment.

City Manager Ray Corpuz Jr., who appointed Brame chief in 2001, has placed himself on administrative leave and has said he will retire once investigations into Brame's 22-year police career are complete.

Corpuz was not city manager when Brame was hired and has denied knowing he had been accused of rape before appointing him chief. Other officials maintain that they told Corpuz of the rape accusation.

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