Man Gets Life After Running Officer Down During Car Chase

Ronnie Jackson | Image by Fort Worth Jail

A man who intentionally ran over a Fort Worth police officer in 2020 was sentenced to life behind bars on Monday.

Ronnie Jackson, 41, was handed a life sentence by a Tarrant County jury this week after being found guilty of critically injuring a police officer during a high-speed chase on June 13, 2020. He was convicted on one charge of aggravated assault of a peace officer with a deadly weapon.

On the day in question, Fort Worth police had been pursuing Jackson, who was driving a stolen SUV. Officer Matthew Brazeal threw down stop sticks in an effort to stop him on the road near West Loop 820.

Swerving to miss the stop sticks, Jackson struck Brazeal, dragging him more than 100 feet and leaving him with a broken pelvis, several broken bones, a collapsed lung, and a brain injury. After the collision, Jackson fled the scene but was eventually found by police in a nearby neighborhood.

As previously covered in The Dallas Express, Brazeal returned to the force last July after undergoing over 70 surgeries and extensive physical therapy.

“You never think, ‘Yeah, it’s going to be me,’ until it is. And then you wake up one day, you’re just like, ‘All right, and here we are, we got to deal with it,'” Brazeal said, per Fox News.

Reports of motor vehicle theft have skyrocketed in recent years, especially in Dallas, which ended last year having clocked 18,841 for a 40.5% hike from 2022, according to the City’s crime analytics dashboard. A total of 1,237 auto thefts had already been reported as of January 29, making it the most prevalent crime in the City so far in the new year.

With just a dozen personnel investigating motor vehicle thefts, the Dallas Police Department has struggled to curb these numbers. Moreover, it fields only 3,000 officers despite a City report calling for 4,000. City officials have also budgeted the department $654 million this fiscal year, considerably less than what will be spent on law enforcement in other high-crime municipalities, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

The effects of these shortfalls can be seen most significantly in comparative studies on crime reported in Downtown Dallas and downtown Fort Worth, which is patrolled by a specialized neighborhood police unit working alongside private security guards. Crime is seven times more prevalent in the latter, with Sector 130 — a division including both Historic Downtown and Victory Park — already seeing an uptick of 41.9% in motor vehicle thefts year over year, with 961 already reported as of January 29.

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