Police Say Speeding Cruiser Struck, Killed Boy | NBC Dallas-Fort Worth
Dallas Police Face Fallout Over Video Showing Child Killed
A family outraged after Dallas police released the dashcam video of their child's death said Friday that while the video needed to be seen by the public, they were shocked that the department did not notify them beforehand.
The Dallas Police Department released on Thursday a chilling dashcam video that captured the view from a police cruiser as it struck and killed 10-year-old Cole Berardi as he was riding his bicycle last week.
Cole's family said they saw the video for the first time on the news.
"Our darkest our, our most horrific hour was presented on television, before it was presented to us," said Brett Inman, the child's stepfather.
Cole was crossing Belt Line Road in southeast Dallas when he was struck by Senior Cpl. Michael Vaughn's patrol car.
"I think it is important that at some point it was released for everyone to understand the gravity of the situation," Inman said. "I would have preferred that we had the opportunity to see it as a family, as opposed to having to watch our son in his last moments on television."
Warning Disturbing Video: Dashcam Video from Cruiser
Before releasing the dashcam video on Thursday Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle warned that it is "very, very difficult to watch."
On Friday afternoon, the Dallas Police Department said they tried to notify the family that they were releasing the video, and they were referred by the family to talk to their attorney. According to the police department, the call was never returned.
Investigators said Vaughn was going 72 mph, more than 30 mph faster than the speed limit. He did not have any emergency lights or sirens activated.
"We do not want our officers speeding, violating any traffic laws unless they are doing it with red lights and sirens on," Kunkle said.
According to Dallas police policy, officers can only go 20 miles faster than the speed limit with flashing lights and sirens. In school zones and residential areas, officers must follow the posted speed limits. The only exceptions are when another officer's life is in danger or during a pursuit.
"I just want to make sure there is no confusion is about what our policies are," Kunkle said.
Vaughn, a five-year veteran of the department, is currently on restricted duty while the incident is being reviewed.
Police officials have yet to decide what punishment, if any, Vaughn will face in the incident. Criminal charges are also possible. Kunkle said the fatal crash has changed Vaughn's life "forever."