DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A former Dallas police officer who hit a man on a bicycle during a pursuit was found not guilty of criminally negligent homicide.
Officer Bryan Burgess was chasing Fred Bradford, 51, in his patrol car when he struck him. Bradford died days later.
The jury spent less than two hours deliberating before they cleared Burgess. He faced as many as ten years in prison if convicted.
The state argued Burgess followed too closely, which is why he ultimately hit and killed Bradford. Prosecutors claimed he moved his squad car and bicycle to cover up the evidence, and waited eight minutes to call for help after the collision.
Burgess’ attorney Robert Rogers says the jury didn’t buy the charges.
“There was no indication that that had anything to do with what he was charged with. Those were just spurious accusations by certain people in command by people in the department and at the Dallas County DA’s office.”
Rogers says he hopes this sends a message not to politicize police work and not to criminalize officer who are proactive.
“He started his shift that night looking for crime. Trying to be proactive and trying to do his job. That’s what this was, a tragic accident. We’re sorry it happened.”
Burgess’s attorney said he will now begin the process to try to get his job back with the Dallas Police Department.