One Year Later: The Brame Shootings - Brame-related lawsuits

April 25, 2004 

The Brame shootings and investigations have prompted three legal actions so far:

•Crystal Brame's family has brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Tacoma and others. Crystal's parents, sister and two children allege city officials gave Tacoma's police chief power but did nothing as he lost control.

The family also has sued former City Manager Ray Corpuz, Mayor Bill Baarsma, former assistant police chief Catherine Woodard and Pierce County.

The city refused the family's $75 million claim for damages and offered the amount its insurance would pay - about $8 million - and a promise to help find out what happened. The family turned it down, saying the city - by asking them to promise not to sue any past or present employees after the settlement - was trying to protect people they deemed responsible for Crystal's death. The case is expected to go to trial in July 2005.

•Ray Roberts, a high-ranking police commander who retired in 2002 after David Brame threatened to slash his pension, filed a damage claim against the city, seeking $500,000 in lost wages and benefits.

•Sgt. Robert Blystone is suing a co-worker, officer Joe Bundy, for defamation. Blystone says Bundy falsely accused him of ignoring a bribe offer during a 2002 traffic stop in downtown Tacoma.

State investigators reviewed the incident during their investigation of Tacoma Police Department practices during Brame's tenure. They found no evidence of a crime.

Blystone's defamation action also prompted a damage claim against the city.

Karen Hucks and Sean Robinson, The News Tribune

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