Association Prez: Dallas Constables Told To Turn Away From Crime
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The fallout and finger pointing continues in the wake of the kidnap and murders of two young boys earlier this week.
The mother of 5-year-old Naim and 3-year-old Elijah Muhammed flagged down a Dallas County Constable for help after the father of the boys took them by force, but that officer declined to chase the suspect.
Now, the head of the Dallas County Constables Association, Rene Christian, has accused administrators in the precinct of telling deputies to turn a blind eye to crime.
The comments have touched off a firestorm of controversy.
CBS 11 News spoke with Precinct 1 Constable Derrick Evans Thursday and he said he never told deputies to ignore criminal activity. Despite the denial questions keep coming.
With two young boys murdered, allegedly at the hands of their father, there are questions for which there seem no satisfactory answers. But, to suggest deputy constables are deliberately ignoring crime is in one commissioner’s opinion “absurd”.
“For anyone to believe that they should just turn a blind eye, that is such an absurd leap from reality that it’s hard for me to even believe,” said Precinct 4 Constable Roy Williams.
Dallas County Commissioner Mike Cantrell still supports the court’s decision to remove lights and sirens from constable vehicles.
While not commenting on the murder case specifically, Cantrell said a ‘red-light running pursuit’ is not a peace officer’s only option.
“If something like that happens in front of them, they’re trained to respond and they should respond and that’s it,” he said. “We’re not going to supply them with all of that equipment so they can go out there and be another police department. If they want to work with the police department, go get a job at a police department.”
The relationship between the commissioner’s court and county constables has been strained, with some constables even blaming the often contentious relationship for the deputy’s response or lack there of.
“The officer in you wants to pursue, but the current court has these constables so afraid to do their job, they’re second guessing themselves,” said Williams.
On Thursday Christian wouldn’t name the Precinct 1 administrator who allegedly issued the ‘turn a blind eye’ directive and wouldn’t comment further, on the advice of her attorneys.
Meanwhile, Precinct 1 Constable Derrick Evans was stunned by the accusation saying, “I don’t know what her motives or agenda could be. We definitely do not advise our officers to ‘turn the other cheek’ to crime. We’ve always been involved in our community here in Precinct 1.”
So why didn’t the deputy constable pursue the suspect and did they even have an opportunity to follow? Those are just some of the questions that hopefully will be answered when the investigation into the incident is complete. As of Thursday, Constable Evans says he’s not commenting further until it is.