As a member of the board of the Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association, I am happy to announce that the TCTLA has awarded the 2013 Lanny Priddy Award for Courageous Pursuit of Justice to Karen Freeto, the widow of Dwayne Freeto, a Fort Worth police officer who was killed by a drunk driver in December of 2006. I attended the very moving award ceremony last night.
The award is named after attorney Lanny Priddy, an honored defender of the powerless. He died in 2008. Priddy, a longtime ACLU volunteer, ran a non-profit Dallas organization representing mentally and physically disadvantaged people. This is the fifth time the award has been presented.
Freeto is the President of the non-profit group Metroplex C.O.P.S (Concerns of Police Survivors). Metroplex C.O.P.S., Inc. provides resources to assist in the rebuilding of the lives of surviving families and affected co-workers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty as determined by Federal criteria. Furthermore, C.O.P.S. provides training to law enforcement agencies on survivor victimization issues and educates the public of the need to support the law enforcement profession and its survivors.
On the group’s website, Ms. Freeto writes
“My husband, Officer Dwayne Freeto, had worked for Fort Worth PD for just 9 short months when I received the knock on the door the early hours of December 17, 2006. I was in no way prepared the hear what the officers that were at my door told me. They said Dwayne was involved in an accident and didn’t survive. At that very moment, my life changed and a wave of emotions went through my body like no other and the one that took over was shock. Our girls were 3 and 9 at the time and I was forced to be a single parent, something I hadn’t signed up for when we got married almost 11 yrs prior.
C.O.P.S. has helped me in so many ways, from understanding my grief and realizing that there are others out there that feel the SAME WAY I do! What a relief that was! I can only hope that I can make a difference in someone’s life like all my fellow C.O.P.S. members have made in mine, both locally and nationally.”
I am happy to see that citizens are fighting for what is right and helping each other get through such hard times. I have represented far too many people injured or killed by drunk drivers during my 33 years practicing law. I hope the efforts of Ms. Freeto and groups like MADD and Metroplex C.O.P.S. can help put a stop to these senseless crimes.
If you have been injured because of a drunk driver, call my office immediately at 817-885-8000 to discuss ways that I can help you recover money for your injuries.