DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – A new activist group made up of critics of Dallas Police shootings wants changes in DPD’s shooting policies involving civilians. The group claims there are too many killings of unarmed civilians by police and they are taking their complaints to the U.S. Justice Department. It’s called Mothers Against Police Brutality, and while it’s made up of several community activist groups, its face is the mother of an unarmed man, shot by police.
“We think it’s just time for the Justice Department to intervene because as everyone can see, it’s just not getting better,” Collette Flanagan told CBS 11 News. She knows the pain of losing a son in a police shooting. In March her son, an unarmed Clinton Allen, was shot dead by Dallas police, who reported he was choking an officer, who fired in self-defense. The officer was cleared in the case.
Flanagan, though, believes the situation is deteriorating. “It’s getting worse…and we have a chief that refuses to implement the same policies that he promised in 2012,” after another police related shooting.
Today, Flanagan and members of several political activist groups—calling themselves Mothers Against Police Brutality—called for wholesale changes and monitoring of Dallas Police officers.
“Over 60 unarmed men have been killed by Dallas policemen since 2001 with only one indictment to date,” Flanagan told the gathering.
The group claims both Police Chief David Brown and District Attorney Craig Watkins are not doing enough. Among some changes it wants made: amend the Deadly Force Policy from shoot-to-kill to shoot-to disable; grant meaningful subpoena power to the Dallas Police Civilian Review Board; and roll back Chief Brown’s new policy allowing officers involved in shootings to wait 72 hours before making an official report.
Flanagan’s attorney, Daryl Washington, emphasized the last point. “We need to have transparency. The 72-hour policy? That’s garbage.”
Just this week, there was another incident. Police shot an unarmed passenger in a suspected stolen car. A witness confirmed to CBS 11’s Bud Gillett he saw the shooting and that the victim, Kelvion Walker, had his hands in the air. Walker remains in serious condition tonight in the Baylor ICU.
“We have to make Chief Brown do what he’s been hired to do,” Washington emphasized, “And that’s to make sure we have police officers that are serving and protecting the citizens.”
District Attorney Craig Watkins office says he lets the judicial process play out and it’s the grand jury that decides not to indict. However, Watkins wants to ask County Commissioners for money to create a unit that only investigates police shootings since he thinks there is a community mistrust of law enforcement.
Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown issued a statement Thursday night addressing the each and every one of the concerns raised by the Mothers Against Brutality. “I share many of their concerns and agree on a number of the recommendations that were brought forth. I look forward to working with this group, and moving forward towards positive changes for our department,” said Brown. Click here to download and read his complete statement.
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