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Brumley Christmas 2014
Brumley celebrated Christmas 2014 with six of his seven kids. Courtesy Jessica Castillo

Mary Perez was tired after a long day’s work, but she perked up when a TV news reporter began talking about a police officer being stabbed. Perez likes and appreciates cops. Her brother is an Army police officer. Fort Worth officers are regular customers at her restaurant, Enchiladas Ole, in the Riverside area. But as it turned out, she didn’t know the officer. She knew the victim.

“It was on a Friday night,” she said. “When they said the name of the young man, it just hurt me. I broke down. These are children I saw grow up, and something inside of me couldn’t let it go. I felt like this was not a young man who would take a chance at ending his own life. He loved life.”

Brumley was 9 when he’d started attending the Northside Boys & Girls Club in 1998. Perez had just been named director of the club, which offers fun, exercise, education, and a safe environment for kids after school. Brumley came to the club regularly for years, Perez said.

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“He had a little sister, and she never left his side,” Perez said. “He was very protective of her. He liked basketball. He liked to draw. He was never with the rowdy boys causing trouble — he was more by himself.”

As Brumley got older, Perez heard he was getting into trouble in the neighborhood. Still, she never recalled him being troublesome or disrespectful in the 10 years she knew him.

“Daniel, from what I’ve heard, had a little bit of a troubled past but nothing that would lead to the tragedy that has happened,” she said. “He was a pretty good kid, a young man trying to make it in the North Side, not going to college. That can always be an economic barrier for families.”

Not long after Brumley’s death, his friends and family held a fundraiser to help pay funeral expenses. Perez didn’t know many of the relatives, but she wanted to contribute and let the family know how much she had enjoyed Brumley’s company at the club all those years.

Perez noticed that none of the city’s Hispanic leaders attended the fundraiser. After all, the money was being raised to bury someone who reportedly had stabbed a police officer.

Jessica Castillo latched onto Perez, showing her pictures of her son lying in his coffin. Perez could see how frail the mom was, how distraught.

Castillo was convinced that the shooting didn’t happen the way police were saying. One of Castillo’s children had gone to the crime scene and been approached by a neighbor who said she’d seen everything. Castillo wanted to talk to the witness, and Perez agreed to take her. What they heard convinced them both that the police officer’s account of what happened was misleading.

“This isn’t as the media portrayed it to be,” Perez said. “There are a lot of holes and unanswered questions. The more that’s coming out, the worse it feels. His mom wants to clear her son’s name. She doesn’t want him to be known as the guy who tried to stab an officer.”

A high-ranking police official was eating at Enchiladas Ole not long afterward, and Perez approached him with her concerns about the case. He told her there was no video taken. The officer wore no body camera. His car wasn’t outfitted with a camera either.

“I was told by [the police official] that one thing the officer was suspicious of was that the young man had bloody hands when he pulled him over,” she said. “The officer was suspicious about what kind of crime he’d committed.”

The official was not available for comment as this story went to press.

Brumley’s relatives say his phone should show that he was texting prior to being stopped and whether he had blood on his hands. But police are still holding Brumley’s phone, wallet, and clothes.

Perez said Castillo’s mother wanted her son’s phone and wallet. She knew he’d been texting Ayala shortly before his death, and she wanted to see what else was in the phone.

By then, the family had learned that the police officer shot Brumley four times, once in the head and three times in the torso. Perez asked her high-ranking customer why the officer would shoot so many times; he responded that officers have the right to empty their guns when their lives are threatened, she recalled.

She wondered aloud whether the policy needs to be reviewed in light of the rash of police shootings across the country.

He said, ‘Mary, the Fort Worth Police Department supports your restaurant.’ I said, ‘Hey, I’m grateful for police.’ We’ve been broken into four times, and I’m grateful when they’re here. We know many wonderful officers. But I felt very uncomfortable with him telling me that, and I haven’t heard from him since that day,” she said.

She’s concerned that speaking on the record for this article could cause her to lose some customers. Still, she feels compelled to talk about the case. She’s hosting a meeting at her restaurant this week with neighborhood leaders to discuss approaching the city formally about potential changes in training for officers and community members and improved communication with families during such events.

“What can prevent this tragedy?” she said. “What do parents and the community need to know to do? Stay in your car? Should everybody walk around with recorders on? Do you get out with your hands up?

“It’s scary times. Everybody’s afraid. Cops are afraid. People are afraid. You know Daniel didn’t get out of the car after that text thinking his life was going to end that night. What happened?”

Castillo said the police haven’t been forthcoming. Her family is large and knows many people in town, including police officers. A couple of them have told her the case smells funny and that she should get a lawyer. When she called a detective who’d visited the crime scene and asked him about details, she said he treated her rudely.

“I said, ‘Why was my son shot in the head?’ He said, ‘I don’t know, I wasn’t there,’ with a real shitty attitude. That right there told me I didn’t want to talk to that man. When I went to the pound to get the car, it states on the pound receipt that his wallet and telephone were on the front seat. They’re missing, and nobody signed out for them. I can’t get an autopsy report. The report from the cop that shot him is not ready.

“My son had no reason to resist arrest,” she said. “He’s never resisted arrest before. He loved life, he had his children, he had a job. He would never risk his life like that. He never has before.”

******

38 COMMENTS

  1. My family lives in disbelieve and with everything not making sense of what really happened. A young man full of life was taken from us way too soon. He was a loving father of 7 kids that will never get another chance to see or hug there father again in this lifetime. Whatever happened to “serve and protect”? Daniel (D-Boy) I Love You cousin and it hurts me to know your gone and I will never see you in person again. I listen to your music everyday wishing I had more time to spend with you. I can’t explain how much your missed here on earth and how hurt the family is now that your not here with us. You will forever be in our hearts and I thank god you were apart of our family….I am glad I got to call you my cousin. Rest in Peace Baby Boy. Till next time we meet again D-Boy.

  2. On the 3rd page, 4 paragraphs under the picture of Daniel’s wife and mom, they (officer Hix) are using the name David Brumley? Who is David? This is about Daniel Brumley. Is this the editors mistake or is it the mistake of the officer speaking about the case?

  3. “David” was the police officer’s mistake in his written response to my questions. The [sic] thing that you see after the name means that the Weekly was aware the name was misspelled but thought it important to leave it that way.

  4. So glad this article was written. While I have the utmost respect for law enforcement, I find it incomprehensible that every officer is not provided with a video camera to be worn on their person at all times that they are on duty. The excuse from the police departments about them not being in the budget seem completely ridiculous considering how much money is spent fighting lawsuits from family’s effected by police brutality and man hours spent in internal investigations. These cameras should absolutely be mandatory to protect our law enforcements actions and to bring peace to families in situations such as these.

  5. These cases are sad even when a police shooting is justified. That said, I think most people believe that most police shootings are justified. The article is slanted to accuse the police and explain away any fault of Daniel Brumley. For example, Daniel’s mentor, Mary Perez, said he faced an economic barrier as a young man with no college growing up in the Northside. Perhaps, but what about the fact that he had 7 kids with 4 different women?

    Such men often have child support issues. Tarrant County family court records show Daniel owed $30,000 as of 2011 in one child support case, and $35,000 as of 2013 in another case. In the latter case, constables tried to serve him with an order to appear in court, but they could not find him. He was finally served on August 8, 2014 with an order to appear on August 19. This time constables easily found him because he was in jail. He was out of jail on August 12, like your article says, but he did not appear as ordered. So in September 2014 a capias (which is treated like an arrest warrant) was issued.

    When the officer stopped Daniel that fateful night, he checked for outstanding warrants, and it was this capias that he found. He then would have taken Daniel into custody. The family says they checked afterwards to see if Daniel had any outstanding warrants that night. But why did they check on that? To see if he might have had a reason to resist arrest?

    A common thread running through the police killings of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Daniel Brumley, is that they were young men who resisted arrest or, worse, assaulted a cop. Who taught them their values? Who taught them it is acceptable to resist the police? In each case, grieving parents called out for police reform. In my opinion, they might have looked for fault at home.

    • The only one saying Daniel resisted arrest is the cop who shot him. The story talks about two witnesses who say different. Whoa re yoiu to say Daniel resisted arrest like Eric Garner and Michael Brown and brought this on himself? Were you there? No you weren’t.

    • The family (actually, a friend helping the family) said they sought an attorney to look for warrants because they wondered why Daniel was removed from his car for a traffic stop, and they hadn’t been able to get that information from police.

      Daniel was way behind on child support payments, obviously skipping his payments while he was in prison or jail, but also when he was free. Daniel’s wife said child support payments were being automatically deducted from his paychecks at the job he held when he died.

      • The max an employer can withhold for child support under Texas law is 50%, even if the amount owed is higher. Realistically, by making 7 babies with multiple baby-mamas and without a secure job, he was setting up circumstances from which he could never recover. Now that he’s gone, we taxpayers will be supporting his kids, but we probably were already.

        • Just me, speaking only for myself, I had much, much rather be supporting innocent babies than grown-up Peckerwood cops who lie like a rug. It’s hard for me to imagine anyone who could disagree.

          • Benito, probably a large portion of the 47% who pay no federal taxes think it’s a good idea for federal taxpayers to support other people’s kids. I got that.

          • Gordita, I assure you that the self-important smartypants who side with black-hearted, Peckerwood bullies against their own sisters and brothers don’t impress me even a tiny smidgion. What do you eat? Have you no shame? Why do you hate your fellow Mexican sisters & brothers? Are you rich? Have you no shame? Do you think Jesus was lying when he made us aware “it is in giving that we recieve”. Do you get that or maybe you are not only a fool but a heathen?

          • Unless Jesus was lying, it is an expected and honorable act to assist the poor, the hungry, and the down-trodden. Why do you hate Jesus? You behave like a heathen. You think and talk like a heathen. You are a disgraceful member of the Latina family. Repent, your breath stinks, ask anyone.

          • Benito, you can’t support a position by quoting a Bible verse in isolation. Jesus did not countenance greed, but neither did he preach sloth and irresponsibility. And what is a fellow Mexican sister? Una lesbiana? Learn English.

          • Gordita, learm compassion, learn that talking down to heartbroken familys with a murdered family member isn’t acceptable by normal citizens. Your opinions don’t hold water, you are a disgraceful human being. Why do you torment this honorable family?Who made you Queen bee? Learn common decency. You cannot support a position by being a self satisfied hammer-head. I have a sweet bird-dog with a bigger heart than you. Grow up.

          • Another heartbroken family’s determination to blame their son’s death on a racist cop led to the burning of Ferguson, Missouri. All for nothing. Even the white-hating, anti-cop Attorney General Eric Holder admits the cop was in the right. There was no “hands up” and there was no “don’t shoot” and there was no shot in the back. That was all a lie.

            Not here. Concerned citizens are right to resist the Brumley family’s attempt to accuse the cop who shot their son as a racist and try their case in the newspaper.

          • The cop can’t be tried in the newspaper. The cop can take the lie test. Why not? Again why not? To believe cops don’t lie, steal, fool around on their wives, covet other folks good fortune,and have stinking feet is stupid. He should demand it himself, why hide…what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, Just take the test. Cut the crap, quit hiding like other criminals, get right… face the music, or get out of town like a egg-sucking dog.

          • Don’t you watch the news? Are you deaf, blind, and crazy? The Police Chief, and down to the janitor sweeping up the City Hall in Ferguson are liars, thieves, racist, and tee-total maggots. God is currently rewarding the heros in Ferguson who are standing up to the racist rats who hold power. Are you on drugs? You need some help girl, don’t you have a Priest? If not find a shrink, and absolutely quit taling those pills.

    • Mariposa, I have no idea what you are talking about, because you decide to become flippant on the issue about child support and comments that were inappropriate toward people of races. The point is not about child support or values, the point is, what had happened that night.

      • Mandy, following the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson, his family and much of the media created a false narrative of a “gentle giant” who fell victim to a police proclivity to shoot young men of color. It turned out that Brown was a thug who stole cigars, roughed up a store clerk, roughed up a cop, then charged the cop while the cop was shooting at him.

        This story also creates a false narrative. It says Brumley was a loving father though he was seldom around. Viewed differently, Brumley was a liberal sperm-donor who didn’t financially support his kids. FWPD Det. William Hix told the FWW reporter that Brumley was wanted for warrants on the night of the incident, including a warrant for unpaid child support. The family disputes this. They say they had an attorney check for outstanding warrants and the attorney found none. Thus, the family discredits even an objectively ascertainable statement from FWPD. Why?

        The question for you is: Why does any disclosure of facts that challenges the family’s narrative amount to racism?

        • False narrative? HA! So you know Daniel, the 4 mothers to his children and his 7 children personally? I’d be willing to bet that you do NOT. Yes Daniel made mistakes in his life that ultimately set him up for failure but to say he wasn’t a loving father simply because of unpaid child support is ignorant and disgusting.

    • The family sought an attorney to check for warrants not to see if there was a reason to resist (Daniel has been arrested several times and never,not once has resisted) instead they checked to see if there was a reason he was stopped in general to rule out profiling.

  6. Joe I don’t think it is disputed that the cop was stabbed. So either Daniel stabbed him or he stabbed himself. If the witnesses can’t say which, then they weren’t witnesses to the whole episode.

    • Therefore, What IS disputed is why the whining, gutless cop is hiding and not taking a lie detector test. It’s free, doesn’t cost him a dime. cops love giving lie-detector test. Do you sense something peculiar here? Why don’t all the cops involved jump at the opportunity to clear everything up? Well Mariposa??? Talk is cheap. In this instance, action is sky-high. What’s the hold up? Are these cowards so special that Fort Worth lets them smile and walk on by this stinking travesty? Fort Worth is supposed to be better than this. let’s clear this up. It’s simple. Just discontinue the self-righrous jive. Get real, get honest, stand up straight Fort Worth Police Department. They told us in school that cops were our friend. Make it so. Get it right.

  7. @Mariposa: “The article is slanted to accuse the police and explain away any fault of Daniel Brumley.”

    As the author of this piece, I agree the article appears slanted. That tends to happen when one side of the argument won’t or can’t make themselves available to answer questions and provide information. Police provided very little information. Daniel’s friends and family were willing to talk for hours. The story might feel slanted in Daniel’s favor because his relatives did most of the talking and filling in missing blanks. The police have 60 days to finish their investigation and another 30 days to present to the grand jury. So the family must wait three months to get any information about the shooting of their loved one. That’s a long time to wait. Yesterday I spoke with another family whose son was shot and killed by Fort Worth police. They’re still waiting two years later for information and explanations from police. This newspaper is not slanted against police, but we’re not inclined to wait months or years to write a story about a controversial situation because one side won’t talk.

  8. I graduated from high-school here in Fort Worth in 1961. Three of my best buddies in school became Fort Worth policemen. I’m a recovering, falling-down drunkard with over 30 years of sobriety today. I have been aquainted with quite a few alcoholic police-people both before and after sobering up and attempting to amount to something.Several years ago, during his midnight shift, one of my high-school policeman pals was caught burglarizing a business, and loading the stolen goods into the trunk of his patrol car. He was quietly fired and there is no record of the incident. I certainly don’t know if the policeman involved in killing this young man is being truthful or lying like a rug, but I do know that a cop will lie like a rug concerning things no more important than a trafic ticket. I suggest asking the cops involved to take a lie detector test. They are really big on lie detector tests when they are pitching and not catching. It would surely cause me to trust the cops more in this instance. Otherwise whatever the police say is not reliable. They become outcast with their fellow officers if they hold one another to the standards they demand from citizens. In my experience, whatever story they finally come up with is not worth a nickle without validation.The cop killed a citizen. I pray he is just an unfortunent hero, but in this instance he and the other cops should be instructed to take the test. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander…isn’t it? The cops should jump right on this idea. Anyone care to bet every cop involved will refuse? This could get interesting if some of the big shots we elected to represent us at City Hall support this idea seems reasonable to me. Cops are cracker-jacks at pitching….let’s see how they do at catching?

    • Hello…..hello…..hello…………….hello……………………hello You still there Mariposa?????????? hello hello hello???

      • There is good cops and bad cops and the guy who shot Daniel Brumley will be revealed as one or the other if not in this life then the next. The problem I see is that the police department are the ones who get to determine whether their own guys are wrong or right and seem to give them the benefit of a doubt most of the time. They don’t always give regular citizens the same benefit of a doubt and seem to go out of their way to ruin somebody’s life sometimes. Seems like two systems of justice, one for them and one for everyone else and that makes people suspicious of police.

        • Get it right Tex. Clearly, there are bad cops and there are bad cops until cops are required to maintain the same conduct and standards as normal citizens. In Fort Worth, they certainly have not behaved that way in my lifetime. When I was younger, my best buddies stepfather dealt blackjack in the backroom of a tavern on South Hemphill Street and paid a percentage of the take to a Detective who picked it up weekly. He shot and killed a drunken card player who was trying to cheat. He wasn’t even arrested. All the cops involved with this despicable killing should be required to face the music. Pull a knife on a cop, get real. What are you smoking?

      • Yes, I’m here, Ben. Sure, I’d be willing to force cops, presidents, secretaries of state, congressmen, accused criminals, and a lot of folks to submit to polygraph tests. Maybe the self-proclaimed witnesses in this case should take polygraphs, too. Fact is, these tests are voluntary. (C.I.A. agents probably agree to them as a condition of employment).The results of a polygraph, and a person’s willingness or not to take one, are not admissible in evidence.

        • That’s right Mariposa, it’s voluntary. Why in pluperfect hell haven’t these heros already taken the test? You are very imformed concerning police people.,, why are the cops not demanding to be tested for truthfulness? How could this be? Whose on first? What’s to lose? I am aware of what is admissable in court. In this instance, in my mind what’s not admissable is for the cops to refuse. Don’t you think so? What’s to lose? You should be first in line demanding some evidence of honesty What’s good for the goose, you know? While they’re on the machine, ask them how many times they’ve lied under oath previously. Two dollars will get you five if you can get a single cop to go for it. I’m standing on ready, let’s go. Cops love to demand lie detector test, let her rip!!! You should be demanding it if you want the truth. Let’s go, get it on. Who is lying here? Certainly not the dead young man.

        • I have no way of knowing if the folks who witnessed this rotten, stinking, dishonest, dishonorable, cowwardly piece of slimy, repulsive police service to our community would take the test. The Police Dept.has dismissed their eye witness testimony right off the bat. What’s new here?

        • Don’t you believe, Mariposa, that all that would be required to get a test of the decency, and character of these killer Police people would simply be to suggest to them that the community would respect them and appreciate them more if they would help untangle the tragedy of blowing this young person to Kingdom Come? I can think of only one reason for them to hesitate one second. If I were in their shoes, I would demand the test or expect to be shamed and fired and reviled by square citizens. What’s wrong with you? Why do you hate Fort Worth? Who picked you to reply here? You won’t lie to us …will you? Come clean, O.K.???

  9. A common thread
    (already false)
    running through the police killings of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Daniel Brumley, is that they were young men who resisted arrest or, worse, assaulted a cop.
    FALSE
    Who taught them their values?
    Who are you to ask such a question when you probably know nothing about these people and judge them on only what you’ve heard of them.
    Who taught them it is acceptable to resist the police?
    In each case, grieving parents called out for police reform. In my opinion, they might have looked for fault at home.
    In my opinion I’m glad you’ve stated your opinion but have no facts to base this on this particular case to be thinking you can just compare them to one another. May this family receive there justice sooner than later.

  10. A common thread… Already this comment left is false. running through the police killings of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Daniel Brumley, is that they were young men who resisted arrest or, worse, assaulted a cop. Also FALSE! Who taught them their values? Who are you to ask such a question when you probably know nothing about these people and judge them on only what you’ve heard of them.
    Who taught them it is acceptable to resist the police? In each case, grieving parents called out for police reform. In my opinion, they might have looked for fault at home. In my opinion you should have just kept your own opinion to yourself. You say a lot but have no facts to base this on this particular case to be thinking you can just compare them to one of the others. May this family receive there justice sooner than later.

  11. Protect and serve, my foot. Someone in authority in Fort Worth should demand that this so called hero and his bosses begin conducting their duties as they are sworn to do. Whose on first? Whose going to get the truth out of these lying cops? Right is right and wrong is wrong, and this stinking episode is outrageous. Each policeman involved should behave as an honest public servant and ask for a test to confirm the truth!! That a single policeman involved in this tragedy refuses to verify their statement is outrageous. Every citizen in Fort Worth should be throwing rocks at these shiftless bums. Why are the decent cops not demanding cooperation from these louts? Is there no honor or honesty in any of our Fort Worth Police? On the square, has it come to this? Mayor? City Council? Preachers? Lawyers? School Teachers? Firemen? Are we shameless? Do we have any honorable cops with a single hair on their butt? Has it come to this? At long last? Good grief. What a lousy, stinking, piece of work from the entire city if this is the best we care to do.

  12. Mariposa,are disgusting. I can assure you that you are not taking care of his children. The mothers took care of them financially!! So don’t assume anything.
    You are talking as if you know first hand what happened. The truth will be revealed and you will eat crow!! You should be ashamed of yourself!! His family is grieving and you have no compassion

  13. Why was he out having a “great time” with his female companion at 4am when he has a wife and kids at home? Sounds like he found God alright.

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