Former Jefferson Twp. police chief, Dayton officer dies at age 84

A former Jefferson Twp. police chief who began his law enforcement career at the Dayton Police Department died recently in Alabama.

Leon Evans Frazier, 84, of Tuskegee, Ala., known as “Chief” because he led several departments during his career, died Saturday in Tuskegee, where he also served as police chief.

A U.S. Air Force veteran, Frazier served on the Dayton force between 1965 and 1977. He is believed to have been the department’s first Black motorcycle officer and served as the first president of the Black Police Association.

“A controversial figure within the ranks, he was notorious for publicly criticizing the Dayton FOP, the Dayton police chief,” according to the Dayton Police History Foundation Inc.

After leaving the Dayton department, he served as police chief for Central State University and was the last chief of the Jefferson Township Police Department, from 1990 to 1995, before the department disbanded in 1995, township officials confirmed.

Frazier was a lifelong Civil Rights advocate who maintained a close relationship with voting rights crusader Amelia Boynton Robinson until her death in 2015. A photograph of Robinson, beaten unconscious and lying on the Edward Pettus Bridge, was iconic to the March 7, 1965, “Bloody Sunday” march in Selma.

Frazier pushed Robinson in her wheelchair during another march across the bridge for the 50th anniversary of Selma. During the march, Robinson was in front, holding hands with President Barack Obama.

Frazier is survived by his wife, Bernice; six children, 20 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service is scheduled for Aug. 27 at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tuskegee.

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