Officer Tim Brackeen, 38, a twelve year veteran on the Shelby Police Department died Monday, September 12, 2016 at 1:28 pm, from gunshot wounds received in the line of duty. Officer Brackeen was attempting to serve criminal warrants on Irving Lucien Fenner, Jr. 23, a black male, at 12:21 am Saturday morning when the shots were fired. Fenner fled the scene and is presently under an intense Police dragnet search.
The Cleveland County Christian Law Enforcement Association (CCCLEA) had called for a Prayer Service on behalf of Officer Brackeen and his family beginning at 7 pm that same day at the Old Courthouse. Word of Officer Brackeen’s death caused the already scheduled service to be more somber. I estimated 2,500 attended the Prayer service, including many from the black community.
The Prayer Service included an introduction by the CCCLEA co-founder Joel Shores and Christy Walker delivered a moving rendition of Amazing Grace, followed by other prayers and moments of silence. It was stated that Officer Brackeen’s family was not seeking “retribution” but requested Prayers as they must deal with the grief that they are having to endure. Officer Brackeen’s family includes his parents, his wife and young daughter.
Those in attendance included School Board Member Danny Blanton who left a School Board Meeting early to get to the Prayer Service on time. Fellow School Board Member Donnie Thurman, Jr. arrived at the end of the service around 7:30 pm but in time to offer condolences and shake some hands. No other School Board members were seen although it was a big crowd.
Shelby Mayor Stan Anthony and Shelby City Manager were in attendance as was County Commissioner Chairman Jason Falls.
NC Speaker of the House Tim Moore, US Rep Patrick McHenry, Governor Pat McCrory, and US Senator Thom Tillis offered tributes to Officer Brackeen and condolences to his family as was reported by the Shelby Star. I suspect US Senator Richard Burr has also offered his tributes and condolences but that news may have not yet reached the Shelby Star or was somehow edited out of their article.
The suspect in the murder of Officer Brackeen is still at large. Irving Lucien Fenner, Jr. is also wanted for other crimes, including robbery with a dangerous weapon that brought Officer Brackeen into contact with Fenner on the night of the shooting.
Please call the Shelby Police Department at 704-484-6845 with any information of Fenner’s location. Please beware that Fenner is armed and dangerous.
A little more information regarding the suspect reveals he has a long record of criminal behavior that seems to escalate with each encounter with the law.
Although the Brackeen family, at this point is not seeking retribution, we as members of our society should all be demanding justice in this matter as well as an understanding about why crimes committed seem to always escalate when criminals get caught but the DA plea bargains it down, especially here in Cleveland County. We, as citizens of Cleveland County owe more to the family of Officer Tim Brackeen and to our own families as well than just a Prayer and then we are on our way home to watch TV. Never looking back and often not even bothering to show up on Election Day while the same ole judges run a revolving door down at the courthouse. Cleveland County Judges have let Irving Lucien Fenner, Jr. off easy so now he thinks he can kill a cop and get by. If you look at a 2016 Sample Ballot for Cleveland County, only one district court judge has an opponent. Lawyer Justin Bracket has challenged Judge Meredith Shuford from Lincolnton. I have observed Judge Shuford many times in my court watching expeditions and fully believe she has to go. I recommend Justin Bracket for this office.
I also recommend the citizens of Cleveland County demand the District Attorney to prosecute fully every criminal warrant that comes across their desk. This very night I have learned that James Adam Gettys, a druggie and repeat offender well know for breaking and entering to steal so he can pay for his next “fix,” while on probation from prison is out and stealing everything he can get his hands on, just had his latest charge dismissed by the DA without explanation to the victim. Even with recovered merchandise and eye witness reports Gettys walks. Will Gettys just decide to kill the cop that tries to arrest him the next time he gets caught?
Folks, you don’t have to look too close to see that Officer Tim Brackeen was killed by a justice system that has totally gone wrong. Irving Lucien Fenner, Jr. just happened to be the thug that pulled the trigger.
As far as the national uproar about white cops killing young black men filling up the big network news, a cursory review of the network news indicates only Fox News has reported the killing of Officer Brackeen. All the big news talks about is black lives matter. From what I saw this evening at the old Courthouse is white lives matter too. That is good. Hopefully we have all learned to dig a little deeper in resolving our local problems and leave all the national “race card” stuff alone. This won’t bring Officer Brackeen back, but maybe the next killing of a Law Enforcement Officer can be avoided.