Alabama senator withdraws resolution to rename street honoring fallen police officer


An Alabama lawmaker announced plans today to withdraw a resolution that would have renamed a Tuscaloosa road dedicated to Dornell Cousette, a police officer who died in the line of duty. 

Sen. Gerald Allen faced backlash after news of his resolution to rename the street Saban Way reached the public. The resolution was passed in the state senate last month and reached the Alabama House of Representatives before being withdrawn. 

A column from highlighted Allen’s sponsorship of the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act in 2017, which prohibits the removal or renaming or monuments, buildings and streets name for people. The law has complicated the renaming of Jeff Davis Avenue in Montgomery, “but Allen and the Legislature can change a Tuscaloosa street name without calling the mayor first.” 

Allen spoke with Police Chief Brent Blankley on Friday and apologized for sponsoring a bill that would have renamed a street honoring a fallen officer. 

“As soon as I learned of the mistake, I contacted the appropriate individuals to make sure that the problem will be immediately fixed,” Allen said. 

In September 2019, Cousette was shot while serving a warrant to a suspect who had jumped bond. Cousette died at DCH Regional Medical Center. 

Thousands attended his funeral and mourners lined the streets for his funeral procession. His police car was parked in front of Bryant-Denny Stadium where members of the community left flowers and cards to pay their respects. The stadium lights turned blue the night his car was removed. 

At the following home game on Sept. 21, the team held a moment of silence and fans wore blue to honor Cousette. 

A year after his death, the Tuscaloosa City Council renamed a section of 35th Street after Cousette. The street intersects with Trevor Phillips Drive, named another TPD officer killed in the line of duty. 

“We’re glad to know that the road leading to TPD headquarters will continue to honor our fallen officer,” Blankley said.