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Justice delayed



Arnetta Grable has been waiting a long time for closure. Her son, Lamar, was fatally shot in 1996 at age 20 by the infamous Detroit cop Eugene Brown. Brown, who blasted away at suspects nine times during his first seven years on the job, also shot and killed two others and wounded a third during that time.

Grable sued Brown in 1996 and has been waiting for judgment day ever since. It seems that it may finally come.

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Isidore Torres has scheduled the trial for July 21. Why the long delay? Brown’s attorney Wilson Copeland successfully argued that it was unfair to compel his client to defend himself in a civil action while the Justice Department investigated him.

Attorney David Robinson, who represents Grable, recently asked Torres to lift the postponement since the investigation has apparently concluded, with no criminal charges brought against Brown, according to Robinson’s court filing. The Justice Department refused to confirm it had investigated Brown. Copeland, likewise, refused to discuss whether his client had been investigated by the feds.

What is certain is that the Police Department conducted its own investigation of Brown, which resulted in what has been called the “Shoulders Report.” In 2000, to quell public outrage, former Police Chief Benny Napoleon instructed Deputy Chief Walter Shoulders and two other commanding officers to review the Brown shootings. Napoleon said that the report would be made public, but instead buried it.

Robinson requested the report, but Torres ruled that the material is privileged and the department did not have to turn it over.

The public may never know what is in the Shoulders Report, but the Grable trial might at long last shed light on one of the Brown shootings.

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