What post – election means for police reform

June 23, 2015 § Leave a comment


Casey Thomas of District 3, Carolyn Arnold of District 4, Tiffini Young of District 7 and Erik Wilson of District 8 are the new representatives for south Dallas in city hall. Thomas and the latter two won their run offs last week.

On matters of police brutality and justice, Dallas Police Association-endorsed Arnold was virtually mute; Wilson, also DPA-endorsed, and Thomas held excellent positions, and Young, favorable.

How is this possible, you ask? I’ve wondered the same question for months. Does the DPA align with us–those who think the police-community dynamic has reached a level of no return? Or do they believe, with us, that police can never be trusted to investigate other police, their brothers in blue? I am pretty sure the DPA does not align with what many of us regard as justice.

Did the aforementioned council members play us with false promises?

Only time will tell what this means for advocates of justice and liberation from a force that can only be described as a thorn in the side to some and a life-threatening, ominous presence to others.

Jason Harrison’s death was justified

April 27, 2015 § 2 Comments

Lady justice and the city officials agree

Last week, the nation’s focus was on the new Attorney General nomination of Loretta Lynch, the country’s first Black woman in the position. Another event, closer to home, that occurred last week was the grand jury’s decision to not indict the two officers who killed Jason Harrison in June of last year. Prior to the grand jury decision, DPD’s internal investigation also decided the officers’ actions were warranted and within policy–the answer to my question two weeks ago.

Now that the proceedings and investigations are complete, public officials like Chief Brown, who earlier said the officer’s statement corroborated with the video, Mayor Rawlings, who also said he’ll remain silent until the grand jury concludes, and the newly-elected DA Hawk, can comment on the case. This incident is the state’s first officer involved shooting caught on body camera and the city is quiet.

Mute politicians, an odd occurrence indeed.

Upon second thought, perhaps it isn’t odd at all. All three could be silent because they see no issue with the officers’ handling of the case. Or they are in cahoots, something not abnormal for a District Attorney, Police Chief and Mayor. Politics–the art of quid pro quo–is a team sport, people.

Harrison’s case is a good study to improve policy when responding to a mental disturbance case, the Use of Deadly Force Policy, officer’s guide of when to use deadly force (believe or not, a guide exists, and the internal affairs investigation. If the reader can recall, Bobby Bennett was another mentally ill man killed by DPD last year. Fortunately, the neighbor’s camera caught that encounter. That officer, Cardan Spencer, was terminated and indicted for aggravated assault.

Dallas, the southern city it is, has a way of being slow–or controlled. Real slow. Slower than we walk and talk. That’s the stereotype anyway. While Baltimore displayed and expressed their emotions that same Friday over Freddie Gray, and still are currently at this moment, Dallas had no reaction to another mentally ill man killed on camera and the grand jury’s no bill decision. Friday, the 24th, that stereotype was nowhere to be found when a group of about 15 people crowded outside of Hawk’s former home Friday evening. A CBS 11 reporter was present and the neighbors stood outside, also, anticipating what would happen next. We were pissed. Anything could have happened. Another station was there too.

Sean Harrison, brother of Jason, was there and said he felt deceived by the city and jury’s decision. Such behavior, he said, wasn’t new to the country or city, and that “nothing is the new N word” for Black people. Here is the interview. It’s worth the watch.

Thursday was a beautiful day. Dallas’ weather is fickle; Friday the skies were gray, a reflection of the initial reaction to the news. A somber day, sun peaking through the clouds, like lady justice peaking around her blindfolds.

Dallas is going through Accommodation 2.0, the old-new phase of White privilege, Black public official silence, and business as usual resource shifting. Except the question here is not desegregation or where to place the Negros. Still a lot of money is at stake, the Trinity River is still the center of conversation, and Blacks are an afterthought, an issue to be dealt with, a thorn in the side to be removed by the so-called Black leaders and officials. Last Tuesday on the same day and time as “Police Brutality and Your Vote” event in East Dallas, three days before Harrison’s killers were no billed, Big D Reads hosted “Dallas’ Gritty History: A Conversation on Race” at the Palladium Ballroom featuring Jim Schutze, author of the Accommodation, and Michael Philips, author of White Metropolis.

About 14 Dallas city council candidates, almost half of the number invited, and maybe 100 people showed up to the former event centered on action concerning police reform. Other candidates, let’s say they were either pre-occupied or ignored the event and the police reform questionnaire sent out. The questionnaire asked for candidate’s stance on policies such as the DPD’s 72 hour review rule and independent investigations.

The latter event was moved to the Palladium Ballroom because of the large demand. Man has a taste to indulge in history and conversation. The only thing missing was the whiskey.

An accommodation it may be, DA Hawk can still bring the officers to trial if she feels there is a case. Too much conversation, dialogue and interfacing is going on. The time now is only for action. Come out this Thursday and let Hawk know how you feel.

UPDATE: The meeting was rescheduled to May 14th at 6:00 p.m.11164142_10206647545857496_1413611559_nDo you agree or disagree that Harrison’s death was justified? Here is the video.

Was the Jason Harrison shooting by Dallas police justified?

March 18, 2015 § 1 Comment

Was the Jason Harrison shooting by Dallas police authorized per Use of Deadly Force Policy?

For the shooting video, click here. The department criminal investigation is complete and the case is currently under the DA’s control, who will send it to a grand jury. Internal Affairs also reviews the case to determine if the officers’ actions followed policy. « Read the rest of this entry »

Dallas City Council District 3 candidates and the police

March 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

Last night the Dallas Examiner hosted another night of Monday Night Politics featuring all six candidates of District 3. Instead of every first Monday, DE will be hosting a candidate forum every Monday from the districts with an upcoming election. « Read the rest of this entry »

Paul Quinn College’s new Urban College Model

February 20, 2015 § 3 Comments

Of all the problems with higher education, Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell doesn’t talk much about them. President Sorrell, better known as “Prez”, is more interested in changing the status quo than talking about what can’t be done. In short, Prez is a solution-seeker. « Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome, Susan Hawk; Dallas DA’s expectations

January 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

Michael Ainsworth/DMN Staff Photographer

If you are a student of the legal/criminal justice system like myself or became a legal expert after high profile grand jury cases involving police shooting black men, then this may be of interest.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Texas Congressional Community Policing Summit 2015

January 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

I was given the opportunity to be an advisor for a panelist at the Texas Congressional Community Policing Summit at UTA in Arlington. « Read the rest of this entry »

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