Beginning a Season of Prayer for Justice|
Reprinted with permission of The Dayton Weekly News, Nov 9-16, 2006 by Margaret Peters
“One of the most inspirational services I’ve ever attended.” “Beautiful!” “The community needs to come together like this more often.”
These are only a few of the comments made on November 1 at Zion Baptist Church after community members began “A Season of Prayer for Justice” for Dayton Police Officer Kevin Brame, who was murdered on November 1, 1999 and for other victims of violence.
Rosemary Brame shared Still Searching for Justice.
“Seven long years and still we search for justice for my son, Dayton Police Officer Kevin Brame. Before November 1, 1999, our family lived a normal life, a life shattered that awful night by a blast from a coward’s gun. We now belong to that dreaded club, Survivors of Victims of Violence.
You might question how such a heinous crime, committed in a city the size of Dayton against a police officer, could go unsolved for so long. We ask that question every day! This was not a crime of passion. It was pre-meditated, cold-blooded murder, a scheme that had to be discussed over time. It was planned by someone who knew where Kevin would be, to take place when he would be most vulnerable. The killer watched Kevin take his boys into their mother’s house that evening, and waited. Kevin left and was walking toward his Tracker when a shot rang out and struck Kevin from behind. Kevin always had his service revolver, a fact I’m sure the killer knew. He or she couldn’t risk giving Kevin a chance to defend himself.
Those who planned and carried out this assassination, which is what it was, do not deserve to be protected – not by family, friends or attorneys. In 2002, one of the large reward banners was taken down across from a Delphi plant here in Dayton. Why would anyone not want to bring a cop killer to justice? We know there are people who have information about Kevin’s death and we plead for them to do the right thing and come forward. In the words of Dr. King, “The time is always right to do what is right.”
Kevin was an unselfish and responsible young man, committed to making a difference in the community. His goal was, in his own words, “to be a good cop.” He achieved that goal in June 1993 and served on the Dayton Police Department until his brutal murder at the age of 31. For six years, he put his life on the line every day he went to work. He also served his country as a member of the Air Force Reserves. He was a loving son and a wonderful father. His death dealt our family a heartbreaking wound that will never heal. A life was taken that held great promise and that brought great joy to our family and to his many friends. He deserves more than annual observances of his tragic death; he deserves justice.
I often wonder what Kevin would look like now, what his life would be, how different our lives would be. Paraphrasing from a Whittier poem, ‘Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: “What might have been!’
A reward of up to $100,000.00 is being offered for the arrest and conviction of Kevin’s killers. If you can help us solve Kevin’s murder, please contact the Dayton Police Department at 937-333-COPS.”
Gerald Brame, who was also a member of the Dayton Police Department shared stories about Kevin — his sense of humor, his love of family and of sports, and his devotion to duty. He also spoke of the family’s grief…
Spokespersons for the other victims of violence spoke about their loved ones and, following the lead of Rosemary and Gerald Brame, lit candles in their memory. The victims and their spokespersons were as follows: Dayton Police Officer Mary Lynn Beall (husband John Beall), Rachelle Curran (father Charles Curran), Ricky Jackson (financee Dionne Green), Police Officer John P. Kalaman (mother Paula Kalaman), Gerald Kelly (mother Lorana Kelly), Leonard Jeffrey Lane (mother Gloria Love Gates), Kevin Edison McConnell (aunt Laura Phillips) and Irvin Smith (wife Virginia Smith)…
Many of those present lingered long after the benediction to share hugs, tears and stories, and vowed to continue to pray and to work for justice.