By J.D. Miles

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – More than a year after the death of a Dallas man, a former Dallas police officer is now facing manslaughter charges for hitting him with a patrol car.

The officer, Bryan Burgess, was chasing 51-year-old Fred Bradford, who was riding on a bike. Prosecutors say Burgess ran over Bradford. Police say they were chasing Bradford because he was acting suspiciously.

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For the first time since his death, Bradford’s mother is speaking exclusively to CBS 11 about her son’s death.

Virginia Bradford says she thought no one would be punished for Bradford’s death.

“Just swept under the rug,’” she said.

Last week, a Dallas county grand jury indicted Burgess for manslaughter. But some are questioning the timing of the charges, considering Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins is running for reelection.

Burgess’ attorney, Robert Rogers, insists that Bradford ran into the police car. Dallas Police Association President Ron Pinkston issued a statement calling the indictment a “last minute, election eve indictment of an innocent police officer.”

Watkins, however, says the indictment is legitimate and the result of a history of misconduct involving the indicted officer.

“We will be prepared to try the case,” said Watkins in an exclusive interview with CBS 11’s JD Miles. “This has nothing to do with politics. It just so happens there’s a political season right now and people want to make this about politics.”

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Watkins says this first indictment by his new Civil Rights unit also found several previous accusations of excessive force against Officer Burgess, documented by these mugshots of suspects who appear to have been physically assaulted.

“Those were investigated by the Dallas police department those were thoroughly vetted by the Dallas police department,” refutes Rogers.

The accusations were eventually dismissed. Whether that evidence would be admissible in her son’s case is irrelevant to Virginia Bradford.

“This is my last son and I just can’t let it go away,” she said.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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