Crowell attends weekend funeral of slain officer

Published 2:39 am Wednesday, July 20, 2016

CLEVELAND (AP) — Making good on his promise to “be part of the solution,” Browns running back Isaiah Crowell attended the weekend funeral of one of the five Dallas police officers slain in a recent attack by a gunman.

Crowell had come under heavy criticism for posting a gruesome illustration on social media of an officer being killed following the shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota by police. While he expressed regret and offered to donate one game check of $35,000 to the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation, Crowell wanted to do more and accepted an invitation to go to the funeral for officer Patrick Zamarripa on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas.

Crowell was invited by the foundation’s president, Sgt. Demetrick Pennie, who chronicled his interactions at the service with Crowell on a lengthy Facebook posting.

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“During the visit, he met with several police officers from across the country, who expressed their appreciation for him seeking forgiveness for his actions and having the courage to admit that he was wrong and making an attempt to redress the problem,” Pennie wrote. “Crowell expressed his deepest condolences for the loss of our officers and stated that he would be willing to return in the future to assist the survivors in Dallas in honoring the sacrifices of their loved ones.”

A Browns spokesman said Crowell spent eight hours with Pennie, who commended the 26-year-old for accepting responsibility for his actions.

“Based on my interactions, I am confident that the policing community now has a supporter in Mr. Crowell,” Pennie said. “Personally, I would like to commend Isaiah Crowell for the courage of principled accountability.”

Crowell, who led the Browns with 706 yards rushing last season, deleted his controversial post moments after publishing it. However, saved screenshots went viral and the Browns felt public pressure to release him.

Crowell issued two apologies, one a prepared statement and another on video in which he said he was sorry and “committed to doing whatever I can to create open dialogue between my communities and the police who serve them.”

Crowell also made a personal apology to Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams. While expressing their disappointment, the Browns have said they’ll support Crowell as long as he continues to “take steps to make a positive difference after a very negative and impactful post.”

Crowell and Cleveland’s other veteran players are due to report to training camp on July 28.