The Dallas Police Department has already admitted that the chase that killed Fred Bradford Jr. on the night of April 21 shouldn't have happened. Bradford, 51, was riding his bicycle along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, allegedly stopping to peek suspiciously inside parked cars. Officer Bryan Burgess gave chase in his squad car, ultimately mowing Bradford down in a patch of grass along the Julius Schepps Freeway service road, according to police records.
Burgess and partner Michael Puckett, who had followed Bradford on foot were both fired in August for ignoring DPD's pursuit policy, recklessly endangering Bradford's life, and attempting to cover the whole thing up.
Because of all that, Bradford's mother had a pretty decent chance of prevailing in the wrongful death lawsuit she filed earlier in the summer against DPD.
On Wednesday, in tacit acknowledgment of that fact, the Dallas City Council unanimously approved settling the case by paying Virginia Bradford $1.15 million. With that, the city eclipsed $3 million in excessive force and wrongful death settlements over the past two years, Fox 4 reports.
"That's something Chief Brown has to kind of get a handle on with the police officers," Councilman Dwaine Caraway told the station. "We cannot continue to be sued and paying out taxpayers' dollars."
Burgess, meanwhile, is still facing a charge of negligent homicide in Dallas County court.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.