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Dallas officers still seething over funeral procession for Police Chief David Brown’s son

June 27th, 2010 . by TexasFred

Dallas officers still seething over funeral procession for Police Chief David Brown’s son

The virulent eruption surrounding the decision to order an apparent last-minute escort Friday for the funeral procession of a cop-killer, who is the son of Dallas’ police chief, shows no sign of abating.

Since word leaked Friday afternoon about the order made by Dallas police Deputy Chief Julian Bernal, I have been inundated by outraged phone calls, emails and text messages from current and retired Dallas police officers.

The general sentiment is that it dishonored the memory of slain Lancaster police Officer Craig Shaw and the innocent bystander who were killed by Brown Jr. in a Father’s Day shootout.

On, a private message board for Dallas police officers, they are saying that a protest march is being scheduled for 8 a.m. Monday in front of Police Headquarters. There is also word on the the site that a meeting has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Dallas Police Association’s Headquarters, and that City Manager Mary Suhm is invited.

In my eight years of covering the Dallas Police Department, I have never witnessed officers more upset about a decision made by a member of the command staff. Even officers that I would normally consider mild-mannered and even-keeled are up in arms.

“While I feel for Chief Brown, this is the first time … that I felt ashamed to put on the uniform,” one veteran supervisor wrote in a text message. “I kept thinking of all those across the country who have grieved an officer killed in the line of duty.”

The story has even gone national with my original blog post even getting a mention on the Drudge Report. That post already has generated more than 550 comments, and the number keeps climbing. Many of those have opposed Bernal’s decision.

“I am DPD and I am ashamed,” one commenter wrote.

Here’s the reason for their visceral reaction: Historically, escorts have been reserved for officers who die in the line of duty, deceased officers, families of police officers and other dignitaries. In other words, it’s for someone who dies under honorable circumstances.

That’s why they see it is as such an unpardonable sin that a cop-killer would receive what they consider a high honor.

They aren’t accepting explanations from Bernal that this was a matter of public safety.

One police association president said that’s because officers know that funeral processions come down Dallas’ busy highways every day and rarely, if ever, receive any kind of help when they encounter traffic snarls.

Officers have said that 10 to 12 motorcycles and at least one squad car ended up helping out with the Brown Jr. escort.

What’s more, officers want to know if anyone else from the command staff — including second-in-command First Assistant Chief Charlie Cato and Chief Brown himself — were aware of what was happening as the procession proceeded down Central Expressway to C.F. Hawn Freeway and then to the cemetery in Pleasant Grove?

And they want to know if other command staff members were aware, did they make any attempt to put a stop to it? And if not, were they OK with Bernal’s decision?

Already, Suhm has put out a statement distancing herself and Chief Brown from the incident, and promising a full inquiry, and perhaps discipline.

The head of the Dallas Police Association has called for the resignation of Bernal who said he sees no reason to step aside. The president of the Dallas Fraternal Order of Police also has condemned the decision by Bernal, who is currently an acting assistant chief.

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Decision to use on-duty officers for funeral procession of David Brown Jr. spurs outrage

June 26th, 2010 . by TexasFred

Decision to use on-duty officers for funeral procession of David Brown Jr. spurs outrage

This incident happened yesterday afternoon, Friday, June 25, 2010. Citizens of this area are, to say the least, outraged! Police officers are outraged! In fact, outrage may not be a strong enough term. Read the story from The Dallas Morning News, and then give a listen to the MP3 recording of Chris Krok of radio station KLIF 570 AM here in the Dallas area as he goes BALLISTIC on the Dallas PD and City Manager Mary Suhm. Chris is very right in doing so I believe!

A cop-killer who is the son of the Dallas police chief continued to stir deep emotions Friday as he headed to his grave.

An apparent last-minute decision by a deputy police chief to provide assistance during part of David Brown Jr.’s funeral procession angered some police associations. The city manager quickly issued a written statement distancing herself and Chief David Brown from the decision.

“This was not a planned event nor a full honor escort,” according to the statement issued late Friday afternoon evening by Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm. “The action will be fully investigated and may lead to disciplinary action.”

Officers said the assistance included 10 to 12 motorcycles and at least one squad car.

David Brown Jr., who killed Lancaster police Officer Craig Shaw and an innocent bystander June 20 before being shot by other officers, was buried in Lincoln Memorial Cemetery in Dallas.

Deputy Chief Julian Bernal, who oversees the traffic unit, said that as the funeral procession was headed to the cemetery, the private motorcycle escort was having trouble keeping up.

He said other motorists were zipping past the slow-moving line of cars and weaving in and out of the procession to try to exit Central Expressway. He also said an accident at Walnut Hill Lane added to the problems.

Bernal, who was in the funeral procession, said he then ordered on-duty assistance to help control traffic.

“It was dangerous, and it was a matter of public safety,” Bernal said.

He said officers, mostly on motorcycles, met up with the procession on Central Expressway at Mockingbird Lane and traveled with the procession the rest of the way to the cemetery.

The officers shut down exits as the processions moved along C.F. Hawn Freeway.

He said he did not tell the officers they were responding to help with the funeral procession for Brown.

Bernal’s decision set off a firestorm within the Dallas Police Department, with police associations representing rank-and-file officers condemning the decision.

“It was bad judgment,” said Glenn White, president of the Dallas Police Association. “It’s repulsive. It embarrasses the entire Dallas Police Department.”

White said escorts are rarely, if ever, provided for private funerals. He called upon Bernal to resign.

Bernal met with police associations and the widow of a slain Dallas police officer Friday evening to explain his actions, but officers remained angry.

Earlier, Mike Walton, president of the Dallas Fraternal Order of Police, said, “I apologize to the Shaw family for dishonoring their husband’s memory and taking the full attention away from them by us escorting that procession.

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