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Widow Still waiting for Answers

On December 29,2004 My Husband was murdered by three Officers. Still months later I know nothing. They have not released any information. I don't understand why my Husband was shoot 17 times in the back and 19 times total with assault rifles. Then after supposidly put handcuffs on him its procedure. So I guess the Blunt Trama to his Head was procedure to.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Widow of suspect gunned down by police angered by cop awards

By Zeb Carabello
The Aurora Daily Sun & Sentinel

Amber Dawson

Amber Dawson, widow of a fugitive hit with 19 Aurora police gunshots and killed in December, thought she was finished seeing her husband's name in the paper.

Then she opened the May 18 Aurora Sentinel, and emotional pain from the past six months quickly boiled to anger.

In the paper was an article about a recent police awards ceremony. Amber Dawson learned the two police investigators setting up the operation that ended in her husband's death were awarded the department's annual Meritorious Service Ribbon, one of the highest police awards in Aurora.

Officers Steve Redfearn and Jeff Longnecker put in tireless hours to track down Daniel "Ghost" Dawson, 26, and get the "very violent individual ... armed at all times" off the street, the award description said.

Pictured next to the police awards article was another officer, Eric Bond, one of the three officers who combined to shoot Daniel Dawson 19 times, 12 times in the back, on Dec. 29 outside the Super 8 Motel near East Sixth Avenue and Interstate 225.

"My first thought was, how can they be this insensitive to Daniel, to me and his children?" said Dawson, who married Daniel Dawson in 1999 and now raises their children, ages 10, 5 and 2, alone. Police say Daniel Dawson opened fire on officers when they confronted him at the hotel.

"I couldn't believe they gave an award for killing a man," Amber Dawson said. "All we've wanted the last six months is some answers and some peace. What we get instead is more disrespect from the Aurora Police Department."

Aurora interim Police Chief Terry Jones defended the department's decision to honor Redfearn and Longnecker, who pursued Daniel Dawson for more than a month.

"The award was not for the death of an individual, but for great detective work that led to an extremely violent and dangerous criminal," Jones said.

"I understand the family's issue, but I had three officers who were almost killed that night."

Dawson, who had been in the state's corrections system since he was 12, and had a long history of arrests, had a warrant for walking out of an Adams County halfway house.

Policed believed he was involved in dealing methamphetamines and vehicle theft.

Dawson had eluded Aurora police at least five times since he signed himself out of the halfway house in June 2004 and never returned.

None of the previous confrontations were violent, but other criminal suspects told police Dawson was armed and threatening to shoot police if caught, police said.

Because the Arapahoe County district attorney is still investigating what happened the early morning of Dec. 29, Amber Dawson and other family and friends of her husband have not been able to view any official report or details of the confrontation between Daniel Dawson and police.

It's been nearly six months since her husband was killed by police, but still Amber Dawson has only been able to access the coroner's reports, which showed her husband was shot 12 times in the back and was taken to the morgue with handcuffs on, even though he was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting.

The coroner's report said Dawson was wearing a gun holster when he was shot, although it did not report any gunpowder residue on his hands or body.

Family members say Daniel Dawson would never shoot at police.

Police said Dawson ran from police when they approached his motel room that night, and that when cornered, he fired at officers with one of the two guns he was carrying with him.

The coroner's report stated that Dawson had methamphetamines and marijuana in his bloodstream when he was killed.

Dawson was arrested more than 30 times since 1996, several times each for escaping low-security correctional facilities and missing court dates. He was also arrested in Aurora for felony menacing, assault and drunken driving.

"All I've wanted this whole time is to see the (police) report, see exactly what happened that night," Amber Dawson said. "But I just have to rely on what little information the police told me and the media. ... They could've killed a couple of elephants with that many shots."

District attorney spokesman Michael Knight said the investigation into the shooting should be complete within the next two weeks, at which time all records and reports will become public.

"I can see where the family would want to see the report, but we have no control over that" once it goes to the district attorney's office, Jones said. "It's unfortunate that Mr. Dawson died as a result to all of this, but he shot at officers first. He had a great hand in his own fate."

Along with policeman Bond, Aurora officers Anthony Martinez and Sean Mitchell also shot Dawson.

None of the officers were injured. All returned to work Jan. 19 after being placed on paid administrative leave for three weeks following the shooting, police said.

Officer Martinez, who has been with the department for 11 years, was involved in a fatal shooting at the same motel in 2000, according to police.

The APD will conduct a complete internal investigation to the shooing following the district attorney's investigation, Jones said.

"It just seems arrogant by the police to give out this award especially if they say the investigation is still open," Amber Dawson said. "Apparently they've already made up their minds."

Reader Comments


Posted: Monday, June 27, 2005
Article comment by: Daniel's Sisters

The fact that they have awarded the police officers for hunting down and killing our brother is shocking and disgusting. Police Chief Terry Jones said "The award was not for the death of an individual, but for great detective work that led to an extremely violent and dangerous criminal," and yet in this same article in a statement from the police "None of the previous confrontations were violent, but other criminal suspects told police Dawson was armed and threatening to shoot police if caught". They were basing all of this on the word of "criminal suspects"? How could they judge that as reliable information? Were they just seeking justification for their investigations? And where is the violent history with police of this "dangerous criminal"? As even they admit, there is no such history! So how dare they give an award to these men when the investigation of his shooting still hasn't been completed? As Amber herself said - It seems they have already made up their minds. There is a severe lack of justice happening in Aurora right now and this is only one of the cases. The blue line is alive and strong and my brother and this family are the ones feeling the repercussions. The murder of our brother was not an act of heroism deserving of an award. This just tells those men that what they did was justified and right. Well, for you, the officers who killed our brother - We assure you it was NOT. You took from us, a loving brother, an uncle from our nephews and nieces, a loving father and from our mother and father, their baby. We hope this award helps you to live with our brothers blood on your hands for the rest of your lives. Daniel's Sisters, Deborah, Michelle, Jennifer, Christine and Kimberly.

phone: phone: (303)873-1528
address: address: 16305 E Gunnison Pl. Aurora Co.