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Lawmaker ends plan to rename road honoring slain officer

February 20, 2021 GMT

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama lawmaker says he is abandoning a plan to name a Tuscaloosa street after football coach Nick Saban after learning the street was already named for a slain police officer.

Republican Sen. Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa confirmed through his office that he is no longer pushing the resolution to name the street Saban Way in honor of the University of Alabama football coach. The road is currently named for Officer Dornell Cousette, who was killed in 2019.

Al.com reported that Allen met with Tuscaloosa Police Chief Brent Blankley on Friday and apologized.

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“We’re glad to know that the road leading to TPD headquarters will continue to honor our fallen officer,’′ Blankley told the news outlet.

Allen in a Facebook post said he supports the roadway being named for Cousette and referred to the resolution as a mistake.

“Our police and veterans are heroes and their sacrifices should never be forgotten,” Allen wrote.

“Again, I am making sure that the mistake is quickly corrected. To my knowledge, no sign or marker honoring Officer Cousette was or will be removed.”

The Tuscaloosa City Council last year voted to name a section of 35th Street as Investigator Dornell Cousette Street, the Tuscaloosa News reported.

Cousette, 40, was killed in 2019 in an exchange of gunfire with a suspect. Cousette pursued a wanted man into a house after spotting him outside and was shot to death while trying to make the arrest, authorities said.

The Tuscaloosa News reported that Cousette had spent much of his law enforcement career as a juvenile investigator.