JUSTICE FOR MARQUIS “JAYLEN” BROWN WHO FELL TO HIS DEATH AT DUQUESNE UNIVERSITY
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“Duquesne University and the Nation... I want you to hear me…I sent my son to get an education, you sent my son back to me in a casket.”
– Dannielle Brown, mother of Jaylen Brown
Duquesne University has perpetrated a serious injustice in the case of 21-year-old Marquis “Jaylen” Brown, an African American student-athlete who died tragically in 2018 under dubious circumstances following an interaction with campus police. To date, Jaylen’s mother, Dannielle Brown, and family have not received a plausible explanation or complete report surrounding the events that led to his death. In addition, they question the legitimacy and comprehensiveness of the so-called investigation conducted by campus and local authorities, which quickly ruled his death a suicide. Jaylen’s family and loved ones demand the opening of a transparent and independent investigation into the cause of his death.
On the evening of October 4, 2018, Jaylen was on the 16th floor of Brottier Hall dormitory on Duquesne’s campus. At approximately 10:30pm, police were called to investigate a disturbance. According to police, when they attempted to speak with Jaylen, he ran towards a nearby window and jumped out. He was rushed to UPMC Mercy Hospital where he was pronounced dead. But the story presented to the family is just that, a story. From the beginning there have been holes and inconsistencies in the account of what happened that night. And, the family is hard-pressed to believe that with four individuals physically present, Jaylen did what is alleged.
We believe that Duquesne University has the moral obligation to be accountable in conducting an independent investigation and to deliver complete facts to Jaylen’s family and all concerned parties. The University has awarded Jaylen’s degree posthumously and sent it to his mother, but they are unwilling to answer her questions about his death. Jaylen’s family is convinced that his death was not a suicide.
Furthermore, Jaylen’s mother Dannielle believes the University has made this claim without providing sufficient evidence to support this claim and may be omitting key facts to protect campus authorities who may have acted inappropriately, or at best failed in their responsibility to protect one of its students. There was no body camera, half of the window was still intact, Jaylen had a blunt hit to his forehead, but no other facial trauma one would expect from a fall. The school quickly removed the window, the police allowed the roommate to remain in the room and compromise the crime scene, and it was open for others to access. Within an hour of Jaylen’s death, Duquesne University released a statement of no foul play and called the incident a suicide. The police department did not describe the physical contact they had with Jaylen, and there was no statement from the witnesses who were also in the vicinity.
This incident WILL NOT be swept under the rug, nor forgotten. After nearly two years of failing to comply or respond, Duquesne University must take the responsibility to address the following demands immediately:
· The family is demanding the immediate opening of an independent investigation to confirm the stated cause of death;
· They request an independent, forensic autopsy and expert review of the previous findings and reports to corroborate or dispute the presented version of events;
· And compete transparency around all findings, including reports, witness accounts, video footage and pathology reports.
In addition, the family of Jaylen Brown wants to know what the University is doing on campus to make sure this sort of tragedy does not happen again. What are the processes in place for trauma-based situations? Dannielle Brown, her family, Jaylen’s many supporters, and the Pittsburgh community, are owed at least that. Jaylen’s suspicious death should not be forgotten, nor should he have died in vain.
Jaylen was loved. He was a son, a friend, a teammate and most importantly, a person. He deserved to be treated as such.
PLEASE help the Brown family get justice for Jaylen by signing the petition below, and then help us get the word out by sharing this campaign on your social media platforms as we fight to get JUSTICE FOR MARQUIS JAYLEN BROWN.
To help financially support this fight please donate to https://www.gofundme.com/f/justiceformarquisjaylenbrown40?utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_more
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