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El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen dies

Editors note: The Mayor's office has confirmed the news of Chief Allen's death to ABC-7. A statement will be released from the mayor shortly.

EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen, who had led the department for almost 15 years, died Tuesday.

El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen

Assistant Chief Zina Silva announced his death in an email to officers Tuesday afternoon.

“It is with heavy heart that we share this sad news that our beloved leader Police Chief Gregory K. Allen has passed away earlier today to be with God,” she told the staff.

Allen has been El Paso’s police chief since 2008, the first African American to hold that rank. 

He joined the department in 1978 and rose through the ranks. He also was a martial artist and in 1995 was inducted into the El Paso Boxing and Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

During Allen’s tenure as chief, El Paso was repeatedly ranked as the nation’s safest city based on crime data reported to the FBI.

But Allen’s tenure also was filled with controversy. In 2016, he referred to Black Lives Matter as “a radical hate group.”

Last year, in an unprecedented step, the El Paso City Council voted to settle a lawsuit by paying $1.2 million to a family that claimed poor policies and leadership from Allen led to the 2015 shooting of Erik Salas Sanchez. The 22-year-old man was in a mental health crisis when he was fatally shot by a police officer in his parents’ home.

This article first appeared on El Paso Matters and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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