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Family of Officer Killed in Clinton Motorcade Sues

February 25th, 2010 . by TexasFred

Family of Officer Killed in Clinton Motorcade Sues

DALLAS, Texas — The family of a Dallas motorcycle officer who died two years ago while escorting Hillary Rodham Clinton has sued her and the city, alleging that he wasn’t properly trained, that the road was inadequately maintained and that Clinton didn’t give the city enough time to prepare for the motorcade.

The lawsuit filed in state court Monday, the second anniversary of the death of Senior Cpl. Victor Lozada, also faulted the city’s 911 system for a delay in dispatching an ambulance to the scene of the accident on the Houston Street viaduct.

The suit also names as defendants Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Super Seer Corp., the maker of Lozada’s motorcycle helmet.

Frank Librio, spokesman for the city of Dallas, said the city had no comment on the lawsuit. Representatives of the other defendants could not be reached for comment.

Full Story Here:
Family of Officer Killed in Clinton Motorcade Sues

I guess we all have to do what our conscience dictates, in ALL matters, but I seriously have to wonder, what would Victor Lozada have to say about this law suit? I hate to say this, I don’t want to denigrate Sr. Cpl. Victor Lozada or his family in any way, I just hope it is being done in the interest of doing something good and not simply for monetary gain.

“None of this is going to bring back their father and husband,” said David Schiller, attorney for the Lozada family. He said the family filed suit “because they don’t believe that, without taking legal action, many of these things are going to change on their own.”

As this story progresses, I too have to wonder about the actions of the Dallas Police Department and the method of their madness given the conflicting reports found in this next quote.

According to the lawsuit, less than a month before his death, Lozada’s trainer, Senior Cpl. Dale Erves, wrote that he did not think Lozada was ready to ride on duty. A Jan. 25, 2008, daily observation report, signed by Lozada and Erves, states that Lozada had made “so many mistakes” that it scared Erves and that Lozada had failed that phase of training, needing at least two more weeks of training.

Shortly after Lozada’s death, The Dallas Morning News obtained copies of Lozada’s training records, which indicated that he had done well. A daily observation report also dated Jan. 25, 2008, and signed by Erves and Lozada stated that Lozada had passed training.

That sheds and entirely different light on the story, or does it?

On Tuesday, Erves said he had written the report indicating that Lozada had failed as a joke. He said he was shocked that was now being used as part of the lawsuit.

“Victor and I got a laugh out of it,” Erves said. “Victor had improved tremendously, and he was doing very well with his riding ability.”

That’s why we have a judicial system. Someone has to make sense of this matter. I have to say this, you don’t write reports of that nature as a joke. I have to wonder, just how much time did Sr. Cpl. Dale Erves have on his hands? As a training officer, I would think that it wouldn’t be that much. And a phony report is NOT a joke.

I remember well the day Lozada was killed, I was watching the breaking news on TV when this happened and at the time I had one of the first stories out on the blogs, Dallas Police Officer, Sr. Cpl. Victor Lozada Killed While Escorting Clinton Motorcade.

I distinctly remember the Dallas media making a big point of the fact that Lozada, while a long time police officer, was very NEW at the task of being a Motor Officer, that fact is in the story quoted above, from my blog post at the time of the accident. I shudder to think that the Dallas P.D. put him in a position of danger unnecessarily.

The fate of this law suit is in the hands of the courts, but I do know this, being a Motor Officer is one of the most dangerous assignments a uniformed officer can undertake. In addition to all of the normal dangers faced by officers in patrol cars, a Motor Officer is terribly exposed and can have a very bad day at the drop of a hat.

Danger is a part of the job, a part that Sr. Cpl. Victor Lozada knew and accepted, I just hope the accusations against the department and this joke report that exists are truly used to bring about improvements in training and safety for all Dallas P.D. officers.

Again, to the family of Victor Lozada, our thoughts and prayers are STILL with you and I hope you are being guided through this by someone that has integrity in their heart and not dollar signs in their eyes.

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6 Responses to “Family of Officer Killed in Clinton Motorcade Sues”

  1. comment number 1 by: HoosierArmyMom

    I hope Sr. Cpl. Lozada rests in peace, but my concern is the same as yours, I hope this family is doing this for a honorable reason and not just as a cash grab.

  2. comment number 2 by: BobF

    Actually, I can see Erves writing the “phony” report as I’ve done that too. I’ve had to write and edit performance reports on a lot of people during my career. On one NCO, I wrote a report that basically stated he had a hard time walking and chewing gum at the same time…I even got the endorsing official to sign it. The look on his face when I presented it to him was priceless. But then, he deserved it because he rigged a one man life raft (CO2) bottle to my chair to go off when I swiveled around…scared the crap out of me.

    But, when it comes time for the rubber to meet the road, you’ve got to be as serious as a heart attack. You use your best and most highly trained people because the results can be disastrous otherwise.

  3. comment number 3 by: TexasFred

    I have a serious problem with falsified reports, and a JOKE report is a falsified report in my opinion, and one worthy of some serious discipline…

    I never falsified a report, I never wrote a *blow your skirt up* report…

    And I burned asses if my subordinates turned in bogus, phony or falsified reports, that crap can bring a career to an end…

  4. comment number 4 by: Patrick Sperry

    I too hope that this isn’t just another money grab. That said, I never even once filed any sort of “trick” or “joke” performance evaluation, or incident report. Fred nailed it on that, I saw a mans whole life collapse after a “joke” I/C had been written about an alleged DV incident. Heck,the wife was even in on the “joke.” It cost him his shield three years later when the un-Constitutional ex post facto Lautenberg law was sneaked through in the dark of the night. Last I heard he was selling propane…

    Now, as to the other issues there might be something there, and only time will tell. Improving training methodology is an ever evolving theme, so no big surprises there. You always try and improve that, and, if it’s not always in a state of change at least at some degree? Then someone’s not doing their job.

    A delay in dispatching an ambulance? How on earth? I’ve been in Presidential motorcades as a Paramedic. Opsec prevents what we actually do, since we all know that bad guys read Fred’s blog. But, there is always more then one available, and response should have been near instantaneous. If not, then yes, there was a problem.

    The helmet in question may have been defective, or had a design defect that may open up some liability, and that is what courts are for.

    My heart goes out to the family, friends, and co-workers. Let us all hope and pray that something like this never happens again, even though we are all aware that it will. It comes with the job description.

  5. comment number 5 by: Ron Russell

    Often these law suits after the fact seem to knit-pic previous events in order to justify a suit that in reality has little merit. I would say however, that the false report, joke or no joke will be hard to ignore and the case could hang on that.

    I also don’t understand the ambulance delay, don’t understand how this could happen in this case. The helmet issue is quite another thing. If the specific helmet was defective thats one thing and should rightly be a factor in the suit, but if its the design or some related factor then I fail to see a problem as there is no such thing as a perfect helmet.

    On a person note I generally don’t like to see these types of suits and feel in most cases they are encouraged by greedy attorney with dollars signs in their eyes. Accidents do happen and one can always look back and say it this or that had been done then the accident could have been avoided.

  6. comment number 6 by: HoosierArmyMom

    I never thought about the level of discipline required in a police department like that. I know that law enforcement and the standards that have to be met daily are stressful and demanding and we don’t pay our LEOs near enough. But being in the corporate climate, I am used to being “joked on” by co-workers. I worked a contract with the state one time, several years ago. At lunch I went and bought some new undies at a specialty store. When I got back and left to go to the ladies room, I came back to find all my “purchases” hanging from the ceiling of the output room where people picking up reports could see them! I’m sure one couldn’t do that sort of thing in a police dept. Come to think of it, in todays hyper- nobody has a sense of humor- PC environment… most people would have a lawsuit going. Things have changed to the point that there is no humor or joy in life anymore!

    I know this is off topic, kinda, but it does bother me. The best stress buster I know is a good ole practical joke. No wonder officers suffer so much from stress related ailments.