Special Reports

Officers had demanded Brame probe

A group of unnamed Tacoma police officers demanded an Internal Affairs investigation of Chief David Brame regarding an April 11 visit he made to his in-laws' Gig Harbor home, The News Tribune has learned.

In an anonymous letter dated the same day as the visit, an unspecified number of patrol officers said they were "extremely disturbed, offended but not surprised" by allegations that Brame's estranged wife, Crystal, made after the encounter in which Brame picked up the couple's two children.

Crystal Brame called 911 about three hours after the pickup to report that Brame and Assistant Chief Catherine Woodard, who accompanied him, had entered her parents' gated community under "false pretenses." She had been staying with her parents since February, when she filed for divorce.

"We would all be very interested to find out if Chief Brame and Asst. Chief Woodard used their badges to gain access into the private community for personal reasons," the letter stated.

The City of Tacoma gave The News Tribune a copy of the letter Friday in response to the paper's request for public records regarding Brame, who fatally shot his wife and killed himself April 26.

The officers, who said they had lost faith with the department's "inept administration," demanded the department's Internal Affairs unit investigate Brame "with the exact same fervor, lust, enthusiasm and diligence" shown during investigations of patrol officers.

If an unbiased in-house investigation wasn't possible, as the officers believed was the case, they said an outside agency should be brought in. The officers threatened to turn to the news media if the allegations were covered up.

"Rest assured we are not fans of Chief Brame, and we will do everything to see that this incident is broadcast on the news and put into the papers," the letter states.

It isn't known what happened to the group's request. A call to police Lt. Bob Sheehan, an Internal Affairs investigator mention-ed in the letter, wasn't returned.

Police spokesman Mark Fulghum said the department couldn't comment because the letter is part of an investigation by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

Jason Hagey: 253-941-9634