DALLAS - Former Dallas police Officer Bryan Burgess hugged his attorney after a jury found Burgess not guilty of negligent homicide.
"It was a tragic accident,” said defense attorney Robert Rogers. "That's all it was. We are sorry it happened but overwhelming relief that finally, after four years, we have justice
Prosecutors were trying to prove the officer was negligent when he chased 51-year-old Fred Bradford on his bike. They say Burgess was going too fast to stop and was too close when he collided with Bradford.
District Attorney Faith Johnson said she supports police but felt compelled to take this to trial
“If we think we have one that has gotten out of line and thinking there is negligence or criminal negligence we plan to pursue it," Johnson said.
The defense presented evidence that showed the officer was only going 11 mph and that he hit his brakes in an attempt to stop.
The jury felt Burgess was just doing his job.
"I voted not guilty from the very beginning,” said juror Dianne Cutler. "I felt the prosecution did not have enough evidence to make me convict this man."
Bradford's family and supporters say they're disappointed with the verdict.
"Today's decision re-emphasizes we have a long way to go as far as equal justice and equal rights,” said Reggie Ruffin, with Just C.A.U.S.E. Coalition.
Officer Burgess’ attorney said the verdict sends a message to police officers that they can do their jobs without fear of going to prison if something goes wrong.
Burgess said he plans to fight for his job back with back pay.
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