WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com) – The horror surrounding the October 13 death of music producer Richard “Scotty Beats” Brown was magnified for the family when the two 9-1-1 workers involved were only disciplined with four-day suspensions without pay and the supervisor received a written reprimand.
“An innocent man is dead because someone didn’t do their job,” Mrs. Danielle Steele Brown charged at a Nov. 17 press conference.
Her husband’s murder is still under investigation. He was a well-known music producer who has worked with Jennifer Lopez, Amerie, the East Side Boyz and Lil Jon.
With tears and pain gripping her voice, she said, “This reprimand is absurd and hideous.”
On Oct. 13 at 2:30 a.m., Mr. Brown came out of his home in Prince George’s County, Md., one of the most affluent neighborhoods for Blacks in America, when his car alarm went off. To his surprise, a truck was towing his Chrysler 300.
Despite a rash in tow truck-related car thefts in the area, when he called 9-1-1, according to the taped call, his call was brushed off as a report of a repossession.
“Okay, sir, um, what you’re going to have to do… was your vehicle… were you late on your payments or something like that? Could it be repossessed?”
“No, I was lying in my bed and my alarm went off and I looked up and the tow truck, I saw the tow truck towing my car out of my driveway,” he said.
“Okay, what I’m saying is… are you late on your payments on your car?”
“No, not at all. Not at all. No, I’m not late on my payments,” Mr. Brown insisted.
“Okay, so what you’re going to have to do, sir, is give us a call back within the next two hours to find what tow company’s towed it and where they took it to and they’ll give you a reason.”
Mr. Brown, knowing that he wasn’t late on his car payments, according to his wife, then followed the tow truck in another car and was fatally shot.
It was not until five days later, according to LaVerne Brown, Mr. Brown’s mother, when the police were investigating the murder did they discover that there had been a 9-1-1 call.
“If I hadn’t asked the police why they didn’t respond to the 9-1-1 call, they would have never known about the call. Eleven minutes prior to my son’s death, he called 9-1-1. He wasn’t the only call. Neighbors called to report the car theft also, but nothing was done,” she lamented.
“The 9-1-1 dispatchers are not trained well. All people in PG County are in jeopardy. This system is broke and needs to be fixed. The discipline is inappropriate and it’s not fair,” she said, “These people need to lose their jobs. The system needs to be overhauled.”
The family is also dissatisfied with the county’s investigation. In a statement released Nov. 13, Prince George’s County Public Safety Director Vernon Herron described their investigation.
“On October 13, police officers were dispatched to the 11000 block of Southlake Drive for the report of a shooting.Upon arrival, officers found Mr. Brown suffering from a gunshot wound. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The initial investigation revealed that the victim may have followed a tow truck he saw attempting to take his car, and that the victim and the driver became involved in an altercation.”
Upon learning of the incident, Mr. Herron launched an investigation to determine if Mr. Brown had called 9-1-1 for assistance when he saw his car being stolen and if proper procedures were handled during any call that took place.
Mr. Herron continued in the statement: “It is important that our citizens are confident that when they call 9-1-1, their information will be recorded properly and the appropriate police or fire will be dispatched to the call. …
“In these cases, established written procedures were not followed and we have taken the appropriate action to correct that.”
That is insufficient for the family. They want a complete investigation. They want to know why the police were not dispatched. They want to know why the calls were not logged as proper procedure. They want to know why the report of a car theft wasn’t taken seriously.
“There were a rash of car thefts in that area. Cars were being stolen. People were at risk. It’s a major concern,” stressed the family’s spokesperson, Attorney Donald Temple. “There needs to be a complete investigation, public accountability and proper disciplinary action.”