Brother of fallen officer upset state legislator considered changing the name of a street meant to be renamed after him

Source: WBRC video
Source: WBRC video
Updated: Feb. 22, 2021 at 7:24 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The family of a Tuscaloosa police officer killed in the line of duty is speaking out after a local state legislator tried to rename a road that is set to be named after him.

WBRC spoke by phone to the brother of officer Dornell Cousette. Marzell Cousette said they learned about the plan through a Facebook post. He says he’s still upset, even though State Senator Gerald Allen has now dropped plans to rename the Tuscaloosa street that will be named after Officer Cousette in honor of Alabama football coach Nick Saban.

Dornell Cousette was shot and killed while trying to arrest a suspect in 2019. Several months later, the Tuscaloosa City Council voted in favor of naming 35th Street near police headquarters after Cousette.

Signs signifying that name change have not gone up yet. Part of the intersection there is named after Officer Trevor Phillips who was also killed while on duty several years earlier.

Senator Allen had been pushing a bill through the legislature to rename part of 35th Street after Nick Saban. But late last week, he stopped the bill saying that a mistake had been made.

“There’s nothing that he can apologize for cause it shouldn’t never have been brought up from the start. This proposal for my brother’s name has already been in the making. So for him to want to override that lets me know that he has no morals or respect for my brother,” said Cousette.

Tuscaloosa Police said Allen apologized to them Friday. Officer Cousette’s brother told me they have not heard from Senator Allen. We reached out to him for an interview about the situation, but Allen said he was unavailable for comment.

Allen said last Friday in a Facebook post: “A mistake was recently made in renaming a portion of Investigator Dornell Cousette Street in relation to a resolution that I sponsored two weeks ago.” The post goes on to say: “I am making sure the mistake is quickly corrected.”

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