Producer’s widow sues over 911 call; Homeowners’ group also blamed after car theft ends in shooting.
Daily Record, 16 Oct 2008 (Mook).
On Oct. 13, 2006, Raymond S. Brown II was roused in the middle of the night by the sound of a car alarm and the sight of someone towing away his Chrysler 300 on a flatbed truck.
Around 2:30 a.m. Brown, 36, a music producer known professionally as “Scottie Beats,” called Prince George’s County 911 to report the theft. The dispatcher questioned him about whether the car was being repossessed and told him he needed to verify that with the tow truck driver. Brown got into a second car to find out.
He was shot to death as he approached the truck, which had stopped.
According to the original police report, the flatbed had been stolen and was being used by professional car thieves operating in the Southlake at Lake Arbor neighborhood. Car theft had become such a problem that, according to a federal lawsuit filed by Brown’s widow, the homeowner’s association had decided to install barrier arms at the ingress and egress points.
On Tuesday, Brown’s widow filed a $5 million lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt against Vernon R. Herron, director of the Prince George’s County Office of Homeland Security, which oversees the 911 call center, for putting her husband in harm’s way.
Danielle Steele Brown’s attorney, Gregory L. Lattimer, said it was the call center’s practice to screen car theft calls associated with tow trucks coming from predominantly black communities to determine the probability it was a car being repossessed.
“Instead of responding to a car theft call, they got into a query about whether the man had paid his car loan?” Lattimer said. “You have to ask yourself, ‘What is going on with the world?’ This is something that could have been easily prevented.”
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Brown is also suing the Southlake at Lake Arbor Homeowners Association Inc., which failed to put up resident-controlled “barrier arms,” like those commonly found in parking garages, despite having the money and consensus to do so.
According to the lawsuit, bids had been collected and the money was available to install the barrier arms and fencing that would have required a security card to open.
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[Also mentions the accused killers and recently murdered witness Bobby Ennels]
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