Police Shoot and Kill Sound Engineer Who Was Helping Them Film Episode of “Cops”

Ted Wheeler | Courthouse News Service


OMAHA (CN) – The family of a “Cops” film crew member who was shot to death by an Omaha police officer while embedded with the police sued the city for wrongful death on Tuesday.

Bryce David Dion, who had worked on “Cops” for seven years as a sound engineer, was killed on Aug. 26, 2014 while filming a standoff between police and an armed robber inside a Wendy’s restaurant in central Omaha.

Dion, 38, and his crew were “invited by the Omaha Police Chief to work directly with police and to accompany them when responding to calls,” his brother, Trevor, says in his complaint in Douglas County Court. He sued on his own behalf, for his mother and father, and on behalf of his brother’s estate.

Bryce Dion was standing were police officers had told him to, when a late-responding officer shot him, the family says.

The robber, Cortez Washington, fired a pellet gun, and officers responded with real bullets and killed him too.

Bryce Dion, however, “engaged in no wrongful conduct. He violated no directions of officers and deployed as directed,” the complaint states.

Omaha invited the film for the purpose of “promoting and projecting the image of the OPD and to promote public interest and support for OPD,” the Dions say in the complaint.

“Mistakes happen. When firearms are involved they can be fatal,” the family’s attorney David Domina told Courthouse News.

“Here, the special relationship between Mr. Dion and the police may not have been fully communicated, the officer who fired the fatal shot may not have been adequately informed, or some other error or omission may account for what occurred.”

Dion was the first crewmember in the 25-year history of Fox’s longest-running show to be killed during production. He was wearing a bulletproof vest, according to police reports, but the bullet entered his torso near his armpit in a spot where he was unprotected.

Fox is not a party to the lawsuit.

The incident shocked the Omaha community during the turbulent summer of 2014, as images of the bullet-riddled Wendy’s circulated on social media, causing speculation on how many bullets police fired to cause the damage.

“The Dion family is deeply hurt. It respects the obvious fact that Mr. Dion’s death was produced by a tragic mistake. The legal system exists, in part, to do what can be done to address such mistakes,” Domina said.

The mayor’s office and the city attorney declined comment Tuesday.

The family seeks funeral expenses and damages for wrongful death and his pain and suffering. It took him about 20 minutes to die after he was shot.

Published by Courthouse News Service.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3670 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • rob

    OMG!!!!! Case No. 28649019 of how the idiocy and arrogant negligence of common cops destroys lives and society. I mean HOLY SHIT!!!!!! You don’t know enough to give a battle-scene briefing to everyone over the fucking RADIO???? HOW STUPID ARE YOU SHITHEADS!!! I hope you ALL die of the bone cancer your radar machines give you!

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      • LawrenceNeal

        Pay per post spammer

  • Kurt Van Luven

    All police should carry malpractice insurance coverage. No insurance coverage, no job. Let the private sector clean up the bad ones. Added bonus, the taxpayers are not punished for bad acts beyond their control.

    • 2broke4 her

      doctors, nurses, firemen, lawyers and some other occupations require malpractice or liability insurance, so should cops! or if the LE agency is sued and it cost tax payers, have the money taken from the Agencies operational funds, then watch how fast things change when cops get laid off due to negligence and loss of funds!

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    • jdgalt

      Bad idea, because it would protect the bad cops. Better just to strip them of immunity and let them lose their homes and life savings.

    • kymykat

      I vote for you KURT

  • Paul Klinger

    All cops should be immediately drug tested whenever they discharge their weapon or inflict bodily harm requiring medical attention to any citizen. Give them a pass for marijuana, but either termination or rehab for any other substances including steroids. Too many cops are amped up and shoot first and ask questions later.

  • Yup, that’s going to help their image… They don’t even have an image anymore!

    • Tom

      I think it’s sound they don’t have now, they still have their camera man 😉

  • QuantumVirus


    • jdgalt

      Look on the bright side. The next film crew may not be as a__-kissingly sympathetic to cops as that one was.

  • Equinoqs

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume that the sound engineer was black and holding a dark object (like maybe a microphone), and the late-arriving cop automatically shot at the person he assumed was the suspect before bothering to determine the situation. smh

  • NeonDisease

    Dumb cops can’t even tell the difference between the bad guy and their own crew!

  • kymykat

    This is just so out of control. There no justice ever at all for anyone these days. We all are effected. And we need to do something before it’s too late.

  • ronald1216

    it was no accident the shooter was inside the restaurant not outside with video cameras more cops will kill everyone from drinking coffee to filling up gas excuse and will get away. like the violent cop says go ahead sue were not giving you any cash out of our pockets coming out of the states.