Yes, it’s true, everything is bigger in Texas and that also includes the problems. And Dallas, Texas has a big, big problem on its hands: the city’s and the Dallas Police Department’s inability to do anything about the rampant brutality and deaths of Black men at the hands of Dallas police officers.
According to information provided by an Open Records request, Dallas has seen over 60 Black and Brown men killed, most of them unarmed, by the hands of the Dallas Police Department since 2001. A good portion of them occurred in the last few years, wherein which DPD (“Dallas Police Department”) saw a record 43 officer involved shootings: 15 in 2009, 16 in 2010 and 12 in 2011.
Disproportionately, Black men are the victims of police brutality and excessive uses of force. Why is it that these stories in Dallas go nowhere? Is anyone telling these stories?
Not counting Clinton’s tragic death in March, four other Black men, have been killed by the Dallas Police Department. Two weeks ago, a Dallas police officer used his squad car to stop a suspect. Predictably, he was African-American. The 51-year-old man later died after suffering internal injuries from the incident. (The man, Fred Bradford, said that he was run over twice.) You might recall that Clark Staller, the man who murdered Clinton, also ran over a suspect in January of 2011. Given their officers’ proclivity for using squad cars as weapons, you would think that the DPD would be far more concerned about rogue behavior that compromises the safety of citizens, particularly that behavior attacks the most. At the very least, you would think there would be the selfish fear of lawsuit looming.
Not so. Why not? DPD has enjoyed brazen, free run and rein of Dallas with very little by way of action, recourse or consequences. According to an Open Records request, no Dallas police officer has been indicted since 1973. In plain English terms, that means that no Dallas police officer has been charged with a crime in 40 years.
It’s not there’s a shortage of cases of obvious and egregious overkill and misconduct. An example: Despite shooting Tobias Mackey 9 times, including once in the head (he too was unarmed and was shot in the head after asking, “Why did you shoot me? I didn’t do anything!”) and shooting an 11 year-old boy in the arm, Mackey’s killer, Matthew Tate, was neither released from the force, nor indicted. (Tate did later resign, of his own volition and not that of the Dallas Police Department.) The Mackey family is currently suing the city of Dallas.
Me and Clinton’s mother recently filed an Ethics Complaint against Dallas Chief of Police, David Brown, for his failure to report Clinton’s shooting and death to the FBI. (you can read it here.)
Why did she do that? Well, the DPD is supposed to report all officer related shootings to the FBI and they have not done so. In fact, email correspondence with the FBI Special Agents assigned to Dallas specifically show no evidence of correspondence regarding Clinton’s death. The Dallas Police Department maintains that the correspondence went out on March 10, but we feel that there are two things wrong/suspect with that claim:
1.) March 10th was the day that Clinton was killed. It is rare that police forces, especially one as disorganized as Dallas’s, would be able to send the information that quickly, especially on a Sunday. Considering it took detectives from the Department 9 hours to notify us that Clinton was deceased, we highly doubt that Clinton was important enough to the Dallas Police Department for someone to go in on the weekend and make, file and send a report the FBI.
2.) The Dallas Police Department has refused to provide physical, dated proof of said communication between themselves and the FBI. They instead vaguely state that they did contact the FBI - but refuse to give a date for when the alleged communication occurred.
This seems ridiculous and completely incredible, that the citizens and judicial system in Dallas, the nation’s 9th largest city’s is complacent or even aiding in such gross and obvious miscarriages of justice. But yet, with every police shooting of unarmed men, particularly Black men, no matter how many gunshot wounds, the police officers go free - and back to work. They are released back onto the streets of Dallas with their guns, the endorsement of the Dallas Police Department and the confidence in knowing that they probably will never see a grand jury.
Example: Clark Staller was allowed back onto the streets, in uniform -and his part time job as a security officer at the apartment complex where he killed Clinton - five days later. We had not even buried Clinton yet.