By Cleve R. Wootson, Jr., The Washington Post
Officer Tyrone Andrews lost his battle with cancer on July 14.
A week later, his fellow Dallas police officers were up before the sun, escorting the 27-year veteran’s body to his hometown in Louisiana, which would serve as Andrews’s final resting place.
Sr. Cpl. Earl “Jamie” Givens, a motorcycle officer with the traffic unit, had one of the most dangerous jobs of the endeavor.
He rode ahead of the mass of vehicles, using his motorcycle and flashing lights to block traffic from entering Interstate 20 until the procession passed.
He had stationed his motorbike at the entrance ramp on Bonnie View Road on Saturday morning when tragedy struck.
A speeding Kia Sportage smacked into the motorcycle officer and then crashed into a nearby concrete barrier, police said in a news release.
Photos from the Dallas Morning News showed the aftermath: a trail of debris leading to Givens’s battered motorcycle, which came to rest against an I-20 guardrail.
The Sportage sat a few yards away, crumpled against the concrete divider.
(Cpl. Earl Jamie Givens died Saturday morning after he was hit on his motorcycle near I-20 and Bonnie View. Courtesy of The Dallas Morning News and YouTube. Posted on Jul 21, 2018.)
Other officers in the procession rendered aid, trying to keep Givens alive until paramedics arrived, but it was too late. He was pronounced dead when he arrived at Baylor University Medical Center.
“We are just asking you to keep the Givens family in your prayers,” Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall said at an early-morning news conference.
— Margie Argumedo (@MargieArgumedo) July 21, 2018
“Keep the Dallas Police Department in your prayers. Keep the city of Dallas in your prayers.”
Dallas police said the driver of the Kia SUV was Adrian Breedlove, 25. He has been charged with intoxicated manslaughter and unlawfully carrying a weapon. He was being held in jail on $76,000 bail.
It was unclear if he had hired or been appointed an attorney.
The Dallas County district attorney’s office said the crash is still under investigation, according to Dallas/Fort Worth CBS affiliate KTVT, but “any charges referred to our office in this matter will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
— Mike Rawlings (@Mike_Rawlings) July 21, 2018
Fred Frazier, vice president of the Dallas Police Association and a friend of Givens for 15 years, reflected on the tragedy.
“He was a great guy with a great big heart,” Frazier told the Dallas Morning News. “How tragic could this be?”
Frazier said that Givens was heavily involved in the Assist the Officer foundation, which works to provide additional support to officers injured on the job.
According to the Morning News, motorcycle officers are vulnerable while assigned to escort duties.
In 2008, Sr. Cpl. Victor Lozada-Tirado, 49, died in a crash while working traffic for the motorcade of then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) during her campaign for president, Reuters reported.
Givens’s death was the second line-of-duty death in Dallas this year.
Officer Rogelio Santander, a three-year veteran, was killed April 25, according to CBS News.
Santander, his partner, Crystal Almeida, and a security officer at a Home Depot store were all shot while trying to arrest a 29-year-old on an outstanding warrant.
The other victims survived, and the assailant was arrested after a five-hour manhunt.
(Rogelio Santander is remembered as not only a good officer, but an amazing human being. Courtesy of CBSDFW and YouTube. Posted on Apr 25, 2018.)
On Saturday, three months after Santander’s killing, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings summed up the city’s mourning in a tweet:
“Our hearts are broken once again.”
There will be a candlelight vigil for SC Jamie Givens on July 23rd at 7:30 PM at the Central substation at 334 S. Hall Street. There is also a motorcyle placed at the location as a memorial in his honor. Its open for those who wish to stop by and express their condolences. pic.twitter.com/m6h870FGto
— Dallas Police Dept (@DallasPD) July 22, 2018
Cleve Wootson is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post. He was previously a reporter for the Charlotte Observer.
Editor’s note: Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Sr. Cpl. Earl “Jamie” Givens, both blood and blue. Thank you Sir for serving the citizens of Dallas with pride and distinction.