DALLAS — Did Dallas police violate their own policies by ordering motorcycle officers to join the funeral for a cop killer last Friday?
News 8 was the first to report that the decision to assist with the funeral of police Chief David Brown's son came from the department's highest level.
Deputy Chief Julian Bernal made the call, and the department's second-in-command, First Assistant Chief Charles Cato knew about it.
It's a decision that has been criticized by city officials, police officers, and now the family of Lancaster police Officer Craig Shaw, who was slain by David Brown Jr. in the Father's Day gunfire.
"This is unforgivable; there's no excuse for that," said Reginald Shaw, the victim's brother.
News 8 has learned that the police motorcade assigned to escort Officer Shaw's body from the funeral home to the church for visitation by family and friends is the same one that was pulled Friday afternoon.
As the motorcade waited to transport the fallen officer, their supervisor — Chief Bernal — called to relocate about a dozen officers to help lead the funeral procession for Donald Brown Jr.
"To be given an honor that was reserved for a police officer, and to be given to the person who killed him, is a slap in the face," said the dead officer's mother, Geraldine Shaw. "It's a slap to Craig, a slap to the department, to all police officers — and I don't understand it."
First Assistant Chief Charles Cato, in a statement released Monday by Dallas police, says supervisors were concerned about public safety during Brown's procession. Heavy traffic and rain triggered the call for extra help.
"If there was a safety issue, someone hurt in an accident, they could have pulled from traffic patrol — not my brother's motorcade," Reginald Shaw said.
The motorcade eventually made it back for Shaw's procession. Sources said they were a little late showing up at the funeral home.
The outrage from the decision has some police union members calling for Bernal's job, and Shaw's mother couldn't agree more.
"I feel very strongly that he should not be in a position to make decisions like this again," she said.
Police escorts are a privilege, one Shaw's family said he earned with his life.
"He earned it; he earned every bit of it... every bit of it," Reginald Shaw said.
In his written statement, Chief Cato said: "I truly regret and apologize to anyone who has been offended or hurt by this decision. Please know that neither I nor Chief Bernal intended in any way to be disrespectful to any fallen officer."
Dallas police changed their policy for processions following the death of Senior Cpl. Victor Lozada in 2008. He died while escorting then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's motorcade after missing a turn on the Houston Street viaduct.
Now, officers who are part of an escort are required to ride the route ahead of time so they're familiar with the roads and turns.
That did not happen Friday when motorcycle officers were summoned to escort the Brown funeral.