Bryan Burgess, the Dallas Cop Who Ran Over a Cyclist, Was Arrested Last Night

Bryan_Burgess.jpg
Bryan Burgess
Even if what they put in the police report were true -- and it's now clear that it wasn't -- Dallas police officers Bryan Burgess and Michael Puckett had no business chasing Fred Bradford Jr. on the night of April 21. The two officers were on patrol in South Dallas when they spotted Bradford on his bicycle on Martin Luther King Boulevard and decided he looked suspicious.

Both official DPD policy and a basic understanding of the physics of a Dodge Charger-versus-bicycle collision would dictate that Burgess not follow in his squad car when Bradford began to ride away. But Burgess did exactly that, while Puckett got out and followed on foot. The brief chase ended a few blocks later with a fatal crunch in the service road of Julius Schepps Freeway.

Burgess and Puckett were both fired by Police Chief David Brown following a disciplinary hearing last night. According to police, an internal investigation concluded they'd recklessly endangered Bradford's life by giving chase and then attempted to cover the incident up by lying to their bosses, internal affairs investigators, and on multiple police reports. It's not clear from DPD's news release what aspects of the chase they fudged.

But losing the patrol job he's had for the past four years wasn't the end of the case for Burgess. He was arrested last night on a charge of criminally negligent homicide, which carries a potential sentence of six months to two years in prison. He also now has the FBI to deal with:

Nor were Burgess and Puckett the only Dallas cops fired last night. Brown canned two officers for squirreling away hundreds of unworked domestic violence cases and two more for other infractions.

"It's obviously not a great day for the department," as Brown put it at a news conference.

See also:
A Dallas Cop Is on Leave After Fatally Striking a Fleeing Cyclist During Low-Speed Car Chase
The Mother of a Bicyclist Run Over by Cop Car is Suing Dallas Police

Update at 3:41 p.m.: DPD released Burgess' arrest affidavit, which provides more detail on what Burgess is accused of.

Officer Puckett and Officer Burgess continued to pursue Mr. Bradford, who eventually turned southbound into a grassy area on the east side of the 3000 Block of Julius Schepps Service Road. When Mr. Bradford turned into the grassy area, it caused him to slow down, while at the same time his feet slipped off the bicycle pedals. Officer Burgess turned southbound into the grassy area and was traveling so fast that he could not compensate for the change in speed. Officer Burgess locked his brakes, however his speed was such that he couldn't stop.

Burgess, realizing what had happened, moved the squad car, and he and Puckett indicated to paramedics that Bradford had been hit by another car in the street. He'd moved Bradford into the grass to keep him from getting hit by another car, and he'd moved his squad car to make room for the ambulance. He repeated the story to his supervisor and an accident investigator.

Bryan Burgess Affidavit

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105 comments
gpottex
gpottex

Any updates on the Dallas County Grand Jury indictments on both officers, or the FBI Civil Rights Violation investigations/charges?

FEDUP
FEDUP

And yet once again on the same day reading this site, The only difference between a career criminal and a polce officer is the cop wears a badge and uniform. NOTHING MORE.

havoth1
havoth1

I think it was AN EXCELLENT DAY AT DALLAS PD - They are doing some much-needed housecleaning and sending a message to the officers out there - "Do your jobs right."

logic4dallas
logic4dallas

You're right. Nobody deserves to be stopped by police. All police are nazis out to kill you. Nothing should be considered suspicious and nobody should ever be chased.

Feel free to never call 911 for police since you seem to have it all figured out and under control.

Lurch
Lurch

Don't get in the way of a Jimmy John's driver, either. The one on Hillcrest is the worst.

David Ristuccia
David Ristuccia

Arrested for running over a cyclist? He should get a medal!

Chiara Granado
Chiara Granado

seriously lol. I hate how they speed thru the roads, driving wrecklessly but "safe"

Chiara Granado
Chiara Granado

Another reason why cops just have such a bad rep. Sad but true

mia5
mia5

Uh did anyone look at where this was?  That area is sketchy.  Really really sketchy.  People have to act extra innocent because the guilty people there are well, very guilty.  Just look at a crime map, which may explain why the officers acted so stupidly.


Shane Owens
Shane Owens

Wow...you all really have no idea what is really happening on the streets when you are safely sleeping in your bed. Do a little research before you judge. This was no innocent cyclist and it had nothing to do with race. It's a tragedy that a person died but keep in mind he chose to flee police that had lawfully stopped him, then continued to evade in a manner that endangered his safety and those around him. The officers made mistakes but so did the suspect.

Sandy Seibert
Sandy Seibert

Justice for once! This is absolutely the most upsetting story ever.

Brian Nesbitt
Brian Nesbitt

Did you really just write the 1st sentence in the 4th paragraph? Jesus, Observer, hire a 3rd grader to edit this shit since its clear you don't have the budget for a real writer or editor.

Manny Martinez
Manny Martinez

Wow maybe they can start pullin them over while texting and driving and being on the damn laptop too.

Toy Laster
Toy Laster

Wow, first time hearing this story. Sad thing is, based on a few comments above I knew he was probably minority. Sure enough clicked on story, read article and viewed images. Its really sad how malicious ppl are because of skin color. Imagine if it were your family member?....Ignorance and hate has no color.

Shane Owens
Shane Owens

There are several layers of oversight actually.

Joe Bannon
Joe Bannon

Only a fraction of those get caught, we need far more oversight on all cops. IMO, we need two tiers of law enforcement.

Jacob Aaron
Jacob Aaron

I'm going to just go ahead and say, "what a piece of shit, you are"! What a disgusting human being.. No respect or regards for someone's life. The reports show a conversation was taped of officers discussing the incident. He not only struck him with his car, but thought it would be best to run over him twice!

logic4dallas
logic4dallas

Those officers had not only the right, but also the duty to chase the suspect. He was behind a closed business, in a high crime area known for drug sales, at the window of a vehicle and fled when they turned on their emergency lights and ordered him to stay where he was...all court case backed reasonable suspicion for a police detention which was upgraded to probable cause the moment the suspect fled. The DPD chase policy only pertains to motor vehicle pursuits, not pedestrian or non motorized vehicles so please give that tired argument a rest. If the suspect would have stopped when ordered and not have fled the location, he would be alive today. The only thing the officer lied about was the manner in which he pursued the suspect. That was stupid on his part, but understandable in the hyper PC environment of DPD today. If Dallas wants mall cops that only observe and report please release a memo on it and they can give all the liberals their utopia and DPD can sit back, watch the city burn, and make the report afterward. However, if you want the streets to be safe keep in mind that when dealing with drug addicted criminals, tragic accidents will happen and calling an accident murder is irresponsible.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@logic4dallas 

Whine away all you like, logic, but the fact remains that police do not have a mandate to KILL people that look suspicious.

noneedtoaggress
noneedtoaggress

Police aren't "nazis" but they are enforcers of political edicts whether those are right or wrong, and in Nazi Germany they were ones rounding up the Jews.

Police aren't obliged to protect anyone, as the Supreme Court has already ruled, and many times tend to escalate situations into more volatility. Their prime concern is "officer safety" and to generate revenue for those connected to them rather than the security of their "customers".


When all you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail.

weirdozmedia
weirdozmedia

@mia5 What kind of excuse is this?? So if you live in a bad area you should expect harassment from the police now? You have a frightening way of thinking.

bmarvel
bmarvel

@mia5"People have to act extra innocent because the guilty people there are well, very guilty."

A unique theory of justice, here. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@Shane Owens"... then continued to evade in a manner that endangered his safety and those around him."  So, to protect this man's safety, they ran him over?

BigTexBoy
BigTexBoy

@Shane Owens You assume too much. 

1. That since we sleep we have no idea nor way to hypothesize what could possibly be going on outside. Our world turns to an unorganized, unpredictable jarble of warmth and fuzziness when we are nice and cozy in our beds. 

2. It's a bit of a stretch to assume a black man in a bad part of dallas not wearing a helmet on a bicycle is "no innocent cyclist"- oh wait, this is a redneck state. Never mind. 

3 They are allowed to aggressively confront him on grounds of asking him to wear a helmet (though not particularly a cause for reasonable suspicion of criminal activity- oh damn; I forgot again. Texas, duh!) 

4. That the man's mistakes were comparable to the officers.
Bradford: a. Not wearing a helmet b. fleeing from police.
Burgess & Puckett: a. aggressively confronting Bradford just to tell him to get a helmet b. chasing a bicycle with a Crown Victoria c. trying to cover up the crime by lying to/on 1. bosses 2. internal affairs 3. reports

5. That you have to do a little research before you judge. Have you never listened to a tea bagger trying to explain ObamaCare?

havoth1
havoth1

@logic4dallas yeah right. Cause the death penalty executed by cops on the street saves $$ in court and is appropriate in your mind for drug offenses.

dballer49
dballer49

@logic ..hmm so if I happen to live in the hood and rode my bike pass a high crime area, or  pass a crack house or what ever then I deserve to be stop???? really??and the cops have a duty to chase me down because I rode pass a high crime area??, reallly?, so my friend comes by in his car, we talking a bit, and because we are near a crack house (and how would we know that that particular house IS a crack house..anywho) we deserve to be investigated..wow, truly amazing what some people think

JohnSmallBerries
JohnSmallBerries

@logic4dallas I'm not sure if you are aware of this but someone died in this incident for no particular reason.

you said, "If the suspect would have stopped when ordered and not have fled the location, he would be alive today."

Let me fix that for you, "If the officer hadn't pursued someone for no particular reason, then he would be alive today."

observist
observist topcommenter

@logic4dallas  In other words, if you run from a cop it's pretty much OK for him to kill you as long as it can possibly be construed as an accident.

Stratjdr
Stratjdr

@logic4dallas So now stupidity is understandable. Obviously it is. You used the magic word. "Liberal" and then throw in the word Utopia. Interesting. Question, How would you have dealt with this situation, the post accident situation. Would you have lied, maybe it's less about the action and more about character. Maybe not. Perhaps "being stupid" is understandable and lying is acceptable from both the criminals and the cops. Seems when someone draws the line, any line people can trot out right/left ideology to defend their point of view. Maybe we'd be better off if we didn't do that, and simply resorted to looking at things as they truly are and not how they play to some political ideology. 


bmarvel
bmarvel

@noneedtoaggress  Noneed: in what sense --  other than the most vague and meaningless -- are laws against theft assault, murder, etc., "political edicts"? And what, in your opinion,  would distinguish a right from a wrong political edict? 

logic4dallas
logic4dallas

Golden...He certainly didn't protect his own safety by fleeing. I suppose in your opinion no one should be stopped by police for any reason and everyone should immediately flee the location once the police show up?

Do you believe that the suspect had no responsibility what so ever in this? Stop, talk to the officers, nothing is going on, ok see ya...or talk to the officers, you're up to no good, you're going to jail. That's how interactions tend to go with police. Pretty simple. When a fully grown adult runs from police upon contact, it's pretty reasonable to believe something illegal is going on.

chpseal
chpseal

I never wear a helmet on my bicycle either. Does that make me suspicious?

noneedtoaggress
noneedtoaggress

@RTGolden1 @noneedtoaggress 

Yeah, after I mentioned that the constitution was merely a document (parchment and ink you're referring to), I went on to mention that the real "source" you're referring is actually the people.

The constitution has no inherent authority, except as a contract between men. It's the sovereignty of the individual that is the source of authority. That sovereignty is limited by the sovereignty of others and their own sphere of rights.

Even if you delegated some of your rights to a representative though, you can't give them the right to do things you had no right to do in the first place yourself.

And as far as the politicians getting bought off, I touched on that earlier too. The role they play are power brokers to a centralized apparatus of power. They essentially broker the use of a monopoly on force to influential groups and individuals.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@noneedtoaggress I have to agree with noneed on the primary purpose of the Constitution: to limit the power concentrated in the government and give the government boundaries it is forbidden to cross.

However, the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, as well.  More than just the parchment and ink used to construct it, the Constitution is a source of authority higher than any elected office.

Of course, those elected to office tend to forget that small fact.  And those who do the electing either never learn it in the first place, or get bought off with services, contracts or welfare (corporate and private).

noneedtoaggress
noneedtoaggress

@bmarvel @noneedtoaggress

I told you that the part of the document you quoted was in reference to establishing the state (and even more specifically the US Federal Government).

What part of "outline how the state is to be structured and defining boundaries to it's actions" argues against the idea that a state is being established?

No kidding it's purpose was to establish a state and...  limit it's power.

It would benefit discourse if you spent more energy on comprehending what the other person has to say and less time forming insults and making irrelevant arguments.

bmarvel
bmarvel

@noneedtoaggress Not a legal scholar, I take it.

 The purpose of the Constitution is inseparable from the purpose of "establishing the state." The Constitution is the establishing document.


noneedtoaggress
noneedtoaggress

@bmarvel  

I'm not sure what you're saying I'm "wrong" about but I'm assuming it's got something to do with my assertion that the purpose of the constitution is to limit state power.

What you quoted describes the proposed purpose for establishing the state (US Federal Gov) in the first place. It doesn't negate my assertion at all.

The document outlines how the state is to be structured (attempting a system of "checks and balances" to limit power concentration), and defining boundaries to it's actions.

bmarvel
bmarvel

@noneedtoaggress

Wrong, noneed. 

Read the actual document. It states its purpose right up top: "...in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity...,"

noneedtoaggress
noneedtoaggress

@RTGolden1 @noneedtoaggress  

Elected officials swear an oath to abide by it as well, but that doesn't stop them from using political power and public opinion to violate it.

The constitution is simply a document that was meant to limit state power. The "authority" you're referring to is supposed to be derived from the very people who are systematically infringed upon when politicians pervert the legal system and LEOs enforce their illegitimate "laws".

LEOs going against the grain of power run the risk of suffering consequences due to the culture of the institutions they work in. They can suffer ostracization, harassment, derailing their careers or worse depending on what their department is like. Many times good cops get driven out. Sometimes under circumstances that resemble something closer to a mafia than a department of peace keepers.

The same apparatus which monopolizes on the legal system also judges it's own cases of whether it's abiding by this contract. It's a joke. They only have to abide by it enough to prevent the subjects from revolting en masse.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@noneedtoaggress @bmarvel I'm pretty sure the law enforcement community, like the military, swears to uphold a higher authority than any elected official above all else.  The Constitution.  Whether the practice matches the preaching should be taken on a case by case basis.

LEO's, like military, are obligated by their oath to disobey any unlawful order or command, regardless of who issues it.

noneedtoaggress
noneedtoaggress

@bmarvel 

Also I want to point out that my comment concerning the police and Nazis was in response to the initial comment making the comparison. I didn't bring up the relationship myself.

noneedtoaggress
noneedtoaggress

 @bmarvel I'm not saying that law is arbitrary at all. What I'm saying is that politicians writing things on pieces of paper calling them "laws" when they are, in fact, infringements on individual rights, are not "laws" at all but "legalized" systematic violations of the law. I did give you an example albeit not a modern one. Chattel slavery was a systematic infringement on individual rights. It may have been "legal" at the time and considered "the law", but we can pretty clearly see today that such a "law" was illegitimate as it did the opposite of what law is intended to do: preserve the rights of the individual.

A vast number of "laws" on the books fail to live up to this standard, and are simply perversions of law.

As far as "democratically elected representatives", politicians are nothing more than power-brokers for a centralized apparatus of power. It doesn't matter if they've been "democratically elected" if the "laws" their putting out infringe on the rights of the individual.

If the majority in a group decided to "elect" a "representative" and that representative proceeded to establish a legal policy of genocide against a minority it does not make enforcing this policy anything less than systematic victimization and violations against individual rights (with popular support). It's a dressed up "mob rule" and a perversion of the legal system. Whether it's a single dictator or a misguided mob, it makes no difference. Both are perverting a central apparatus of power with a monopoly on law production to achieve their goals at the expense of others.

As far as how the police relate to this. What I'm saying is that it's in the police's job description to follow the orders of politicians without question.

bmarvel
bmarvel

@noneedtoaggressIt just seems odd to me that you would describe laws enacted by democratically elected representatives as "political edicts." 

All laws and edicts are political, of course, in the trivial sense that they aim at the establishment of public order and the protection of rights, which is, after all, the business of pollitics. 

But while all edicts are law, not all laws are edicts. An edict is a decree or proclamation usually made by a singe authority -- a king or emperor or dictator -- that carries the force of law. It generally has something of an ad-hoc nature, promulgated to deal with this or that contingency. Law on he other hand is usually regarded as a more permanent institution, and, in our on society at least, is enacted by a democratically elected body of representatives. That is, it is not merely one man's will.

But I suspect what you are really getting at by the use of this peculiar phrase -- and especially by linking it to the Nazis -- is to make law appear arbitrary. the mere whim of those in power, and to thereby cast doubt on the legitimacy of law enforcement. Lacking any specific examples of the "illegitimate decrees" that you say Congress passes "all the time," that would be my conclusion anyway. If I have concluded wrongly, I'm sure you'll straighten me out.  


noneedtoaggress
noneedtoaggress

Law is the collective use of force in defense of the rights of the individual. If an individual is a victim of acts of aggression and has a right to defend himself then he has the right to delegate this defense to others for aid.

Theft, assault, and murder are all acts of aggression against an individual and violate their rights. It's lawful to use force in defense of your property, including and especially when it comes to your physical body. Theft, assault, and murder are all claims to something that an aggressor has no right to control.

Politicians write illegitimate decrees into "law" all the time, but they're just perversions of law when they violate individual rights rather than preserve them. When we were in a period of chattel slavery, it may have been "legal" to own human beings, but it was nothing more than a systematic violation of individual rights enabled by political decree.

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

@havoth1 @logic4dallas I have a family of 6, we traveled from LA to Dallas last night. My wife was pulled aside for a security check. She didn't do anything wrong, should we have refused the security check? There's no evidence or anything suspicious about us going through security, but it's still legal to protect everyone around us, right? So back to this, if the cops want to stop and say hi or ask you what's going on, stop and talk to them. I'm not saying that running the guy over and then covering it up was right at all, but you're more suspicious if you're on the run. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@logic4dallas 1) I'm not saying the man's actions were the wisest choice.  2) I gave no opinion at all on what I think about police/community interaction.  Careful when you assume.

I merely pointed out that not only did the officer's actions indirectly lead to the death of an apparently innocent man, but they were, in fact, contradictory to DPD pursuit policy.  (which, despite your protestations above, do not specify Motor Vehicles at all.)

havoth1
havoth1

@logic4dallas and yet...no mention of anything illegal found on the victim. He reached into a vehicle with unknown occupants. Unknown to the cops maybe, but maybe the victim knew the folks in the car and just swung by to say hi and shake hands/bump fists/gimme5, whatever. So far, no proof the victim did anything but run off on his bike. In this day and age if you are black in this world no cop is trustworthy and the cops (and so much police misconduct in the USA) themselves and the stupid, stupid drug war has brought that about. So, again, the cops were chasing this guy for what?

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