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Arlington police killed Tavis Crane for ‘no lawful reason,’ family’s lawsuit says

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According to Star-Telegram The family of a 23-year-old man who was shot during a traffic stop and pronounced dead at the hospital has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court seeking damages from the city of Arlington.

About two years ago, Tavis Crane, his daughter and several passengers were stopped in the 1700 block of Spring Lake Drive by Elise Bowden, an Arlington officer, who later noticed the driver had warrants out for his arrest, according to Arlington police.

Bowden called for backup and two additional units responded.

When the officers approached Crane to arrest him, he refused to comply and put his car in reverse, hitting Bowden and slamming into her patrol car, police said. To get the suspect to stop, one of the backup officers got into Crane’s car from the rear passenger door and shot him, according to a police report.

As Crane pulled forward, he again ran over the female officer who was on the ground, as he tried to flee. His car pulled ahead and came to a stop after rounding a curve at the end of the road, police said.


The lawsuit, filed in January, recounts a different set of facts, however, saying that Craig Roper, an Arlington police officer named as a party in the lawsuit, jumped in the back seat of the vehicle with his weapon drawn and shot Crane as he tried to turn off the vehicle’s ignition.

The vehicle did not go into reverse until after Roper shot Crane, according to the lawsuit.

“Once Roper shot Crane for no lawful reason, Crane was no longer in control of the vehicle, did not have the ability to operate the vehicle nor would he have been aware that Bowden was walking behind the vehicle,” the lawsuit states.

“The officer hit the gear shift after Crane was shot,” said Daryl Washington, the attorney representing the family. “You can hear the gunshot before the car moves. Clearly, the officer caused this. He should have never jumped in the back seat.”

Roper’s moving the gear shift caused the vehicle to go in reverse, Washington said. As the car rolled forward, Roper shot Crane a second time, the lawsuit states.

Washington said there was never probable cause to stop Crane’s car, a white 2005 Ford Crown Victoria, in the first place.

Officers tried to help the suspect before he was taken to Arlington Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:31 a.m., according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s website.

Two other adults and a toddler in the suspect’s car were not injured in the incident. Bowden recovered from her injuries after being treated at John Peter Smith Hospital for several broken bones.

In addition to recovering damages for the family, the lawsuit seeks to recover damages for the two adult witnesses for mental anguish and severe emotional distress from being in the line of fire during the shooting, according to the lawsuit.

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Dallas

Transgender Women Call For More Arrests, Rally Around Assault Victim

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According to (CBSDFW.COM) A group of transwomen are calling for more arrests following a violent assault in Dallas by multiple people against a transgender woman.

During a news conference Wednesday afternoon, they also said they want the attack to be considered a hate crime.

Dallas Police have said they’ve asked the FBI to help them determine if this is such a case.

While no decision has been made yet, those at the news conference, said they have no doubts.

Mieko Hicks, a transgender woman said, “It was clearly a hate crime and for this to be dismissed as anything less than that is injustice. So what we’re here for is to make sure all of those people in the video that helped and participated in that hate crime are punished for it.”


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Dallas

Man indicted for mailing deadly fentanyl to Dallas resident, 10 others

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A Minnesota man was indicted for mailing fentanyl to a Dallas resident and 10 other people who died of an overdose.

According to United States Attorney Erica MacDonald in the District of Minnesota, 28-year-old Aaron Rhy Broussard was the man behind an online drug trafficking organization.

He allegedly imported fentanyl and other controlled substances from China-based drug suppliers. He would then repackage the drugs and sell them to customers in the United States using various websites like PlantFoodUSA.net.

Broussard allegedly mailed the drugs to online customers “even after learning that some had overdosed on the controlled substances he had supplied,” the indictment states.

One of those customers was a man in Dallas who ordered fentanyl on April 12, 2016. The man, identified only as C.W.K., died a few days later after ingesting the substance.


“Between April 1 and April 27, 2016, Broussard sent packages containing fentanyl to multiple customers throughout the United States,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release. “After ingesting the controlled substance received from Broussard, eleven of the customers died from a fentanyl overdose and four customers suffered serious bodily injury.”

Broussard has been in custody since his arrest in December of 2016. He’s now charged with 21 counts related to the possession and distribution of controlled substances.

His trial is set for May.

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Dallas

Is Police Chief Fitzgerald committed to Fort Worth? Leaders want evidence

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Three months after Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald pulled out of the running for a job in Baltimore, city leaders are searching for signs of his commitment to Fort Worth.

Mayor Betsy Price and City Manager David Cooke have said they want to see the chief outside of police headquarters, in the community as a face of leadership in the city. Fitzgerald has not answered questions from the Star-Telegram regarding his commitment.

“He’s got to reconnect with his troops, and he’s got to reconnect with with the community,” Price told the Star-Telegram editorial board, adding that she wanted to see him directly engaging the public. “I’m one who thinks everyone ought to be in the community all the time.”

Questions about the chief’s leadership surfaced during his candidacy for Baltimore police commissioner. A delegation from Baltimore sent to vet Fitzgerald heard conflicting reports about his handling of race relations in Fort Worth. The Baltimore Sun and the Star-Telegram revealed he exaggerated achievements on his résumé, and the national NAACP Legal Defense Fund called for him to drop out of the Baltimore job for fear he lacked the experience to handle the city’s embattled department.


Fitzgerald removed his name from consideration for Baltimore in January, citing a medical emergency involving his son.

Price said faith in the chief, both from the community and officers, was shaken when he tried to leave. Now Fitzgerald must reconnect with Fort Worth, and that effort was what she called “a work in progress.”

“I think he has the potential to be an excellent police chief,” Price said. “I just think he’s got to rebuild this. He’s got decide if he wants to rebuild this and if he’s willing to do the work.”

Deborah Peoples, who is challenging Price for mayor, said she met with Fitzgerald and believes he needs to decide if he’s willing to stay in Fort Worth even if he’s dissatisfied with his salary or other issues.

“He’s got to do some homework to mend those fences,” she said. “He’s got to be in it 100 percent. Policing is one of those things where you have be 100 percent.”

In Fort Worth, the city manager has the power to hire and fire department heads, including the chief of police.

The chief will have to show a renewed commitment to three groups, Cooke, the city manager, said: the residents of Fort Worth, police officers and other city employees, including the assistant city manager who oversees the chief.

“The idea is, people want to know if he is going to be a good teammate for the community,” Cooke said. “They want to see him out, visible in their communities.”

A strong effort to spend time with rank and file officers, engage the public and show fellow city employees he is willing to work with them will be crucial to proving a commitment to the city, Cooke said.

Fitzgerald’s candidacy in Baltimore made many question who would lead the department if he were to leave. The chief will have to show he can do it again, Cooke said.

“I think it’s just human nature,” Cooke said. “When you hear someone is going to move on you wonder why, but what we do as human beings is start moving on ourselves.”

After Fitzgerald returned from leave dealing with his son’s illness, he and his supervisor, assistant city manager Jay Chapa, began working on a path forward, Cooke said.

The Star-Telegram has requested an interview with Fitzgerald four times in the past three weeks to discuss several public safety topics, including his commitment to Fort Worth.

Each time, a police spokesman said the chief was unavailable. At first, he was on medical leave. But after Fitzgerald was seen April 2 at a City Council meeting, the Star-Telegram made another request for an interview.

This time, a public information officer sent a statement April 4 identical to the one issued in January after Fitzgerald dropped out of the running for the Baltimore job. On Monday a spokesman said Fitzgerald, who had been in and out of the office following a surgery, wouldn’t be available the rest of the week because of training.

“I reflected upon the tremendous outpouring of heartfelt support I received here over the last few months,” the January statement read. “Our community communicated this to me, even before this medical emergency occurred, but it was reinforced then after knowing there was a possibility I could leave. Their support never wavered, and may have intensified.”

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