Dallas police released the names Wednesday of the officers who opened fire outside the Kaluha Discotheque Monday morning when one of their own was under attack.
It was the first officer-involved shooting since a new policy of waiting 48 hours to release names of officers in shootings took effect.
Dallas officers opened fire early Monday morning when one of their own, Sr. Cpl. Ed Lujan, was run over by a suspect in an SUV as he was working part-time at a club.
The names of the officers involved have been identified as Sgt. Shannon Browning, who has been on the force for eight years and six months, and Sr. Cpl. Antonio Barrientos, who has been on the force for five years and five months.
The 48-hour delay in releasing officers’ names was a change from what DPD had been doing, which was releasing names of officers involved in shootings on the same day or the next.
“We had asked for 10 days...mostly for the protection of the officers,” said Richard Todd, President of the Dallas Fraternal Order of Police.
Associations wanted 10 days. They say that would allow time for the officers to protect their social media lives and their families.
“There have been incidents where families were threatened,” said Todd.
Todd points particularly to the McKinney pool party incident, where then-Officer Eric Casebolt slammed a bikini-clad teenager to the ground.
“They didn’t even have a chance to do a thorough investigation, and he's already getting death threats and he made the decision that it wasn’t worth his family's health and safety, so he resigned,” said Todd.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown says the policy change is in line with what big city departments are doing across the country in an effort to be transparent.
Part of Brown's new policy no longer requires an officer to be off the streets 30 days though after being involved in a shooting.
How long they’re off patrol will be based on a psychological evaluation after a critical incident. Associations like that.
“Very pleased that the chief has reconsidered his position on the 30-day rule,” said Todd. “Officers felt like they were being punished. They didn’t want to be in those situations. They didn’t want to be in a deadly force encounter…they felt like they were being punished.”
But if there is a situation like the Dixon Circle incident three years ago, where tensions ran high after a deadly force incident, Brown says he reserves the right to release an officer’s name immediately if he determines it’s in the best interest of the community.
Brown felt like 10 days was too long, and that 48 hours would give the officers time to pull down social media and take other precautions as necessary
The Fraternal Order of Police says it plans to do what its Philadelphia chapter has done and go to the state legislature next session, asking them to pass a bill that would prevent an officer’s name from being released until and unless he is criminally indicted.
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