DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There could be problems ahead for the Dallas Police Department. Leaders with a local organization say they’re preparing to file a federal civil rights complaint against the force and the City of Dallas.
In a formal filing made Thursday with the U.S. Attorneys Office, the group Dallas Communities Organizing for Change alleges he DPD has a pattern of abuse and racially based excessive force.
According to the group, the truth is all about data and the numbers tell the story. There have been more than a dozen DPD involved shootings so far this year and the percentages disproportionately involve black and Latino victims.
DCOC officials say they’ve documented years of excessive use of force by Dallas police officers and they want the U.S. Department of Justice to penalize the City of Dallas and the department over what they see as evidence of widespread police use of deadly and excessive force against minorities.
Kooper Caraway, with Dallas Communities for Change, said, “They [police] choose to use force much more when it comes to dealing with black and brown people than against white citizens of this community.”
The police department offered no response to the complaint or allegation. But after the documents were filed, Dallas Police Chief David Brown released a document that included information on recent policy changes, sharing of information about officer-involved shootings, and the official policy for the use of deadly force.
The six-page release began with a message from Chief Brown that said, in part, –
“Throughout my 32 year career as a Dallas police officer, the citizens of Dallas have shown great trust and confidence in the Dallas Police Department. I understand that this trust is hard to earn, but easy to lose. My pledge is that we will continue to work as hard to maintain and improve citizens’ trust as we did to earn it.”
Included with the release was the chart below, detailing the number of DPD officer involved shootings since 2003.
Colette Flanagan’s son was killed by Dallas police. She calls some of the shootings over the past year “unwarranted and illegal” and believes the actions may be fueled by a lack of consequences for officers. “When you have 40 years since the last time an officer was indicted for shooting and killing an unarmed person in this city, that’s a deadly pattern,” she said.
The police department stats confirm there have been 19 police shootings so far this year.
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