Report: Forest Hill police acted reasonably in detaining drug-crazed killer

Posted Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Forest Hill police officers acted reasonably and within policy and law in their detainment of a man who died in October shortly after being arrested in the fatal beating of a Forest Hill minister, an administrative investigation has found, said Forest Hill Police Chief Dan Dennis.

The Tarrant County Sheriff's office conducted the recently closed administrative investigation into the death of Derrick Birdow to "protect against the appearance of a conflict of interest," Dennis said Wednesday.

"All officers were fully exonerated in the matter, and their actions were found to be reasonable and to be within policy and law," Dennis said.

Birdow crashed his car into the Greater Sweethome Missionary Baptist Church on Oct. 29, then attacked the Rev. Danny Kirk Sr. and a church janitor. Responding officers first encountered Birdow while preparing to enter the church, then chased him inside where they found him striking Kirk with an electric guitar.

When Birdow refused their commands to stop, officers shocked Birdow with a Taser and were eventually able to handcuff him. He had to be carried out to a patrol car where he was found unconscious and not breathing when medics went to check on him, police have said.

Kirk was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Tarrant County medical examiner's office ruled last week that Birdow died from PCP ingestion and that the Taser did not contribute to his death.

The district attorney's office expects to present the case to a Tarrant County grand jury for review, officials said Wednesday.

Deanna Boyd, (817) 390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd

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