Special Reports

Readers' compassion goes to children of police chief

My prayers go out to the family of Crystal Brame, her children and the Tacoma Police Department. I feel a dark cloud over Tacoma this morning on this sunny day.

All the wonderful things Chief Brame has done for Tacoma (very true) are being reported but let us also not forget that police officers are regular people, too, that have faults like everyone else.

City Councilman Kevin Phelps is quoted saying he never saw a short temper from Dave and how he never even heard him raise his voice. Some people have a face they show in public to co-workers and friends and another face only their family sees. I believe this to be the case.

There is also a quote made by Pat Frantz, the president of the police union, that the media had a lot to do with this. Let's get real. Chief Brame was, I am sure, humiliated that what was going on behind closed doors was out in newspapers.

Chief Brame chose to wait outside a shopping center for his wife and children. He shot her in the face then shot himself while his babies watched. Don't blame the media. Dave obviously was a unstable man behind closed doors.

We didn't "lose" a fine police chief. He shot himself after forever changing the lives of those precious children who will never be the same - ever.

LISA REICHL, TACOMA



I am totally shocked and saddened by the tragic events that have stunned our city and surrounding communities.

Problems and difficulties know no job title or socioeconomic status. My heart just aches and aches for those two small children who witnessed a horror too difficult to even comprehend, and who will never recover fully or have their lives back - ever.

When we don't choose to look at our own behavior we project outward and blame someone else. The The News Tribune seems to be blaming The Seattle P-I, but when I saw the Saturday article and editorial in The News Tribune I just knew in my gut that something awful was going to happen.

This young chief was seeing his career and all he worked for going down the drain, and because men in our culture are trained from birth not to talk or share or God forbid show or express their feelings, he must have felt he had no options.

How devastating for him, for his wife, for their two children and all their family and friends and the community at-large.

What will we do now? What will we learn as a community from these tragic events? What will the media learn on how to cover real live human beings with feelings?

One thing that might be helpful is to have some town hall meetings that would bring people together to discuss their feelings and solutions. Just sweeping it all under the rug won't work anymore, and people should not allow that to happen.

MARILYN DESSAUER, TACOMA



As a local law enforcement officer who also went through an acrimonious divorce, this tragedy hits close to home for me. My first concern is for the poor children who must live with this the rest of their lives.

My next feelings are of repulsion and condemnation for such a violent act. I in no way condone these actions but do feel we as the public must shoulder some responsibility because of our insatiable appetite for scandal dressed as "news."

A divorce is a very painful experience. There isn't a marriage anywhere that would welcome being exposed to public scrutiny in newspapers and evening news broadcasts.

If allegations of domestic violence are made, they should be investigated to the fullest by competent law enforcement and judicial officers. Reporting on such investigations should be discouraged until a finding of fault is made.

What good is it if you are found innocent in the eyes of the court but already "tried and convicted" in the court of public opinion? For a police officer in a position such as Brame, reputation is everything. Without it, his career (and in his eyes), his life is over.

I understand the concept of the First Amendment and am not in any way advocating special treatment for law enforcement officers. I am just asking that common decency and respect for our fellow human beings be allowed into the equation when deciding how to sell more newspapers.

MARK GOSLING



I was absolutely shocked and horrified to hear of this tragic event. What's eerie is that I had just stopped by that shopping center with my young daughter to pick up some dry cleaning around 1:30 p.m. My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. and Mrs. Judson and the entire family during this emotional and painful time.

MAURICE E. FORSETH, GIG HARBOR



Police Chief David Brame shot his wife in the head and then killed himself. Nobody else, especially the media, should be blamed. Public officials are by definition public, are paid by the taxpayers and are subject to the same standards which they enforce.

Saturday's News Tribune provides additional examples of a former sheriff associated with a child pornography computer link and the head of the Western State Hospital union associated with lawsuits costing Washington taxpayers nearly $900,000 because of sexual harassment lawsuits. This is news and helps maintain public and personal standards.

Thank God Chief Brame did not kill his two children. Often parents do not want to leave their children orphans.

No doubt Chief Brame and his wife were fine people who were destroyed by the pressures of their private and public lives. What a tragedy this is.

Tacoma is a wonderful fine city but lurid headlines continue to plague it. A friend in Germany told me about it on the phone this morning before I opened this morning's newspaper.

What a sad and intense weekend the The News Tribune and the Tacoma Police Department have experienced. Keep up your excellent, professional reporting and editorials. Our law enforcement officers deserve even more understanding and support.

JAMES NELSON, PUYALLUP





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