Warrant details negligent homicide charge against Dallas officer




Posted on August 21, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 21 at 6:12 PM

DALLAS — An arrest warrant obtained by News 8 Wednesday revealed more details about the negligent homicide charge that led to the arrest of Dallas police Officer Bryan Burgess and the termination of Burgess and his partner.

Burgess, 27, is accused of accidentally hitting a suspect on a bike with his squad car; moving the suspect, car and bike; then lying about the accident to paramedics and supervisors.

On April 21, Burgess and his partner, Officer Michael Puckett, witnessed Fred Bradford riding a bike without a helmet or lights, then saw him reach into a vehicle parked in an alley behind the 1600 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

According to the warrant, the officers believed this to be suspicious activity and turned on their lights and siren to make contact with Bradford. He fled on his bike, as Puckett gave chase on foot and Burgess in the squad car.

Bradford turned in to a grassy area on the east side of the service road in the 3000 block of Julius Schepps Freeway and slipped off the bike's pedals, causing him to slow down as Burgess turned into the grassy area in his squad car.

Burgess couldn't stop the vehicle in time and struck Bradford with the car, according to the warrant.

Burgess and Puckett waited eight minutes after the accident to call for medical treatment or a supervisor, and didn't tell the dispatcher that the requested ambulance was needed for a motor vehicle accident.

After paramedics arrived, neither officer told them that the squad car had struck Bradford, which led the medical personnel to believe another vehicle had hit Bradford.

According to the document, Burgess moved Bradford, the squad car, and the bicycle, and first told paramedics he moved them to keep from being struck by another vehicle before telling a supervisor and accident investigator he moved them to make room for the ambulance.

Bradford was taken to Baylor Hospital with eight broken ribs, a broken back, and other internal injuries. He died due to those injuries at the hospital on May 15.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said the only reason the department learned the truth is because Burgess' partner recorded a conversation.

"This recording revealed that Officer Burgess made false statements regarding the case," the chief said.

Burgess was arrested on Tuesday for criminally negligent homicide and released on $5,000 bond.

Brown has also asked the FBI to conduct a civil rights violation investigation into officer Burgess' actions.