Council Votes To Name Street After Fallen TPD Investigator
The Tuscaloosa City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to change the name of a stretch of 35th Street to Investigator Dornell Cousette Street after the TPD officer killed in the line of duty last September.
The newly minted Investigator Dornell Cousette Street will run between Greensboro Avenue and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard downtown.
"This is a perfect way to honor Officer Cousette and the ultimate sacrifice he made to keep the Tuscaloosa community safe," Tuscaloosa Police Chief Brent Blankley said. "Once we move back to headquarters, this is the road most of our officers will use when they head home every night. Officer Cousette didn’t get to go home, but I think he’d be happy knowing that he’s on our minds every day that we get to. It’s not something we take for granted.”
Cousette was killed while on duty as he was serving a warrant to a suspect in September 2019.
Police believe Luther Bernard Watkins ran inside a house on Short 17th Street and exchanged gunfire with Cousette, who was mortally wounded. Watkins was injured and fled the scene before he was apprehended in a multi-agency manhunt.
Watkins was charged with capital murder days after Cousette's death and faces only two possible outcomes if convicted: life in prison or the death penalty.
In the weeks after Cousette's death, the Tuscaloosa County community came together to hold multiple events to honor his memory from, holding a community prayer vigil to the hosting a stop of the first annual End of Watch Ride to Remember back in June. At Cousette's funeral, police officers from all around the country traveled to Tuscaloosa to pay their respects.
Cousette is the first TPD Officer killed by gunfire in the line of duty since John Charles Thomas was shot and killed in 1972.