By Leslie Klein
Friday night’s matchup against TCU will be a memorable one – not only because it’s the Battle for the Iron Skillet, but also because SMU football players will wear special helmets to honor Dallas and SMU police.
SMU will commemorate the five Dallas police officers who perished during a downtown ambush in July while also remembering SMU officer Mark McCullers, who was killed in a flash flood days before the attack.
On July 7, five Dallas police officers were killed while nine were injured in an attack during a peaceful Black Lives Matter-organized rally downtown. The attack brought national attention to the city as celebrities, political figures and national organizations stepped up to show their support of the Dallas Police Department.
SMU Officer Mark McCullers was swept away by floodwaters on July 5 during an off-duty security job on Turtle Creek Boulevard. His body was found almost two months later at the edge of a Trinity River levee in late August. McCullers was buried with full military honors.
The helmets show the downtown Dallas skyline inside SMU’s iconic mustang logo. Dallas Police Chief David Brown will be in attendance for the game, less than two weeks before he officially retires from his post.
This isn’t the first time Dallas football has honored the fallen policemen. In July, Police Chief David Brown and Mayor Mike Rawlings – along with the families of the five officers – were invited to attend the Dallas Cowboys’ first day of training camp. The special guests walked arm-in-arm with Cowboys players and coaches to signify unity.
The Park Cities community also has shown its support for law enforcement with “Back the Blue” signs and bumper stickers, blue ribbons wrapped around front-yard trees and mailboxes. And more than 300 people attended for Officer McCullers’ memorial service. The helmets are the latest sign showing that Dallas is united after a painful summer.