Duquesne U. responds to Dannielle Brown’s demands

Six days after Dannielle Brown, the mother of former Duquesne University student Marquis Jaylen Brown, held a Civil Protest Homegoing Service at Freedom Corner demanding justice for her son on Aug. 6, the university responded with information related to Dannielle Brown’s concerns.

Duquesne said it agreed to share the university’s Public Safety Office file with Dannielle Brown through her attorney. “Duquesne has been in regular communication with her lawyer to arrange for the provision of that file. The file is ready and waiting to be shared as soon as Ms. Brown’s lawyer returns the relevant paperwork,” a statement from Duquesne, obtained by the New Pittsburgh Courier, read.

It’s unclear as of Courier press time, Aug. 18, if Dannielle Brown and her attorney have reviewed the file.
The university said that Dannielle Brown had also demanded body cameras for Duquesne’s officers, along with additional training. “Duquesne agreed to expeditiously seek to procure body cameras for its officers to add additional training,” Duquesne University’s statement read.

During the press conference, the university’s lawyers, represented by Reed Smith LP, affirmed that its investigation found no malicious doings by any police officers or students pertaining to Marquis Jaylen Brown on Oct. 4, 2018.

“There’s absolutely no evidence that this was a case of police intimidating someone, a case of police using force or threats of force,” Dave Fawcett, a lawyer with Reed Smith, said.

“There is absolutely no evidence of the Public Safety Officers acting inappropriately in any fashion,” Duquesne’s statement read.

Reed Smith’s investigation found that police “did not use force or threats of force; rather they worked to deescalate the situation and keep everyone safe,” after officers were originally called to the scene about a possible disturbance. “Unfortunately, the young man shocked everyone when he suddenly smashed the window with a chair and propelled himself out of the window, a fall that eventually led to his death. The City of Pittsburgh Police reported that testing confirmed the presence of drugs in his system. Duquesne’s own investigation confirmed that J.B. had gone off campus to celebrate his 21st birthday at the apartment of a friend, and ingested drugs there, before returning to his building on campus.”

Duquesne University said that Dannielle Brown “has communicated that she is making a substantial monetary demand of the university.” But Duquesne said that they believe “such a payment is not warranted by the facts; the Duquesne University Public Safety Officers acted appropriately, and there are multiple witnesses to support the findings of the City of Pittsburgh investigation as well as the independent investigation commissioned by Duquesne.”

“Duquesne continues to grieve for the entire family over this tragedy and to care for the health and safety of Ms. Brown,” Duquesne’s statement read. “The university hopes that she finds closure by learning more about the facts after reviewing the Duquesne’s Public Safety file.”

DANNIELLE BROWN addresses the crowd at her “Living Funeral” at Freedom Corner, Aug. 6.DANNIELLE BROWN addresses the crowd at her “Living Funeral” at Freedom Corner, Aug. 6. (Photo by Courier photographer Ashley G. Woodson)

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