Texas Police Group Wants State to Double Death Benefits After Dallas Shooting

Dallas Shooting

After a weekend of mourning, the painful reality of the deadly attack on police officers in Dallas started to sink in Monday.

“It was almost unbelievable,” said Charley Wilkison, Executive Director of the Combined Law Enforcement Agency of Texas.

The head of one of the largest law enforcement groups in the state, Wilkison said police officers will continue to be murdered, as long as they keep doing their jobs.

“There doesn’t seem to be anything we can do about it. So the only thing we can do is make sure to honor them,” said Wilkison.

According to police, gunman Micah Xavier Johnson killed five law enforcement officers and wounded nine others before police used a bomb robot Thursday night to kill him.

Authorities said 25-year-old Johnson, a former Army reservist, told negotiators he was angry over the recent killings of black men by police and wanted to kill white officers.

The sniper attack turned an otherwise peaceful protest into the single deadliest day for law enforcement since 9/11.

“In their last moments of life they were contributing to their city, to their community, they were protecting the public and they were protecting people that disagreed with them and that is policing,” Wilkison said.

According to Wilkison, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R-Texas) already verbally agreed to try to double death benefits for police to $1 million.

A spokesman from the Lt. Governor’s office confirmed Patrick is in talks with CLEAT and that Patrick has made it a goal to increase death benefits for police during in the next legislation.

Wilkison said, “It’s the least Texas can do to show financial responsibility to those families.”

CLEAT worked with lawmakers last year to increase the benefits to $500,000.

Wilkison said, “I just had a feeling that we were going to need that.” At half a million dollars, the current rate in Texas is the highest in the country and Texas has lost more officers than any other state in the U.S.

Along with more financial assistance, Wilkinson said the state needs to make sure the officers get justice and are not forgotten.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said state and federal lawmakers need to do more.

“Do your job.  We’re doing ours,” Brown said during a press conference Monday. “We’re putting our lives on the line.  The other aspects of government need to step up and help us.”

Wilkson said CLEAT will push lawmakers to make changes to the open carry statute, to require people who open carry to display a license on the holster.

Wilkison said, “There are a number of little things that we would like to see that we don’t think infringe on anyone’s second amendment rights to carry.”

A memorial will be held in Dallas Tuesday to honor the five officers killed. President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush are expected to speak at the service. Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) will not be able to attend.  He will be in a San Antonio hospital to get treatment for severe burns he suffered to his legs while on a family vacation in Wyoming last week.

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