DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – State sanctioned violence.

That’s what a group of activists is calling plans by Governor Greg Abbott and the Dallas Police Department to deploy state troopers as a response to rising violent crime.

“We don’t need occupying forces here in the city of Dallas in order to combat crime,” said Dr. Fredrick Haynes D. Haynes of Friendship West Baptist Church.

“Writing tickets in West Texas speed traps is not the same as policing neighborhoods in South Dallas and Oak Cliff,” added John Fullinwider of Mothers Against Police Brutality.

Fullinwider and others point to the use of troopers last summer in the southern part of the city which resulted in less crime but complaints of racial profiling and over policing.

“It came out to more than 11,000 traffic citations to working people in South Dallas. They made more than 500 arrests,” said Fullinwinder. “Even though only one out of four people in Dallas is black, two out of three of those arrests were of black citizens of Dallas.”

Governor Abbott announced four Department of Public Safety aircraft would assist intelligence analysts along with the troopers who will specialize in drug and gang investigations.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said he welcomes the help after the city’s deadliest weekend of the year with seven homicides that pushed the total to 220.

“We offer no pretense that Governor Abbott’s deployment of Texas state troopers and a contention of Texas Rangers which has been applauded by our own mayor Eric Johnson is nothing more than state sanctioned violence,” said Kristian Hernandez of Our City Our Future.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson responded to the critics by saying, “My focus is on the people affected by the unacceptable increases in violent crime in our city. Victims of violence in Dallas are disproportionately people of color who live in historically underserved neighborhoods like the ones where I grew up. All of our residents deserve to live in safe communities, and I welcome any help we can get on their behalf.”
Mayor Johnson also says he advocated violence interrupters, who offer mentoring and counseling to those at risk of violence as another possible solution.
The state troopers will not be doing patrol work.
“Throughout my career in public service, I have advocated for both short-term and long-term approaches to strengthening our neighborhoods that will reduce our dependence on law enforcement. But make no mistake: we must have robust, responsible, and accountable community policing to help keep all the people of Dallas safe.”

The activists argue that instead of state troopers, the city should consider more economic investment in crime-ridden neighborhoods to improve public safety.

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