Special Reports

In David Brame's inbox, messages of support

As word spread about his divorce, Tacoma Police Chief David Brame received encouragement from two members of his department and a retired police officer he didn't know.

"I know you to be a strong and upright individual and I hope that you will be able to emerge from these trying times without too many emotional scars," Lt. Mike Miller wrote in an e-mail to Brame at 12:35 p.m. April 26.

Brame wasn't in the office that Saturday and it's unclear whether he read the e-mail. Less than three hours after getting it, he fatally shot his wife, Crystal, then himself in a Gig Harbor parking lot.

Since the shootings, questions have arisen about Brame's career, his marriage and how he rose to be the city's top cop despite a tainted past.

Miller's e-mail and the two others were sent to Brame's department e-mail account.

The City of Tacoma released the e-mails Friday as part of a nearly 3-inch stack of documents in response to a News Tribune public disclosure request.

Most of the e-mails detail training schedules, recurring issues in the community such as abandoned vehicles, overnight debriefings from patrol commanders and department initiatives.

The chief responded to few of the e-mails he received.

Officer Bart Hayes wrote Brame just after 2:30 p.m on April 17.

Saying he'd recently gotten divorced, Hayes added, "It is not something I would wish on anybody."

Hayes recommended an attorney and provided a phone number.

"If you ever want to discuss it in confidence, let me know," Hayes concluded.

On April 22, a city employee forwarded Brame the Web article first publicizing details of his contentious divorce, including allegations of abuse. Brame was out of town at the time.

James McKenna read a story on the Web about Brame's divorce and wrote the chief at 8:03 p.m April 25.

"I am very sorry to say your home situation was posted right up there with all the world events," McKenna wrote. "When I was in patrol I gave many males like you some good advice over domestics."

In his e-mail, Miller told Brame he'd been doing a good job as chief and had his support.

"I am writing to let you know that I consider the allegations of your physical abusiveness and threats to be patently false. It is beyond my comprehension that you would do such things."

Miller added: "You have a lot of friends and, perhaps equally as important, a lot of co-workers, who believe in the example you have set over the years and are proud to stand up on your behalf."

Stacey Mulick: 253-597-8268