Dallas County Judge, Police Chief draft potential policy changes regarding police use of force, firearms

Dallas police officers with riot control gear stand during a protest against police brutality May 29 in Dallas.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins tweeted a list outlining policy changes affecting police use of force and firearms to address community well-being on Tuesday.

Dallas Police Chief Reneé Hall, City Manager T.C. Broadnax, District Attorney John Creuzot and civil rights leaders curated the list.

At the time of publication, Jenkins did not announce if the statement’s points would be taken into action.

Broken down into two parts, the list calls for an investment in the Dallas community and an increase in accountability.

Divestment from police and investment in community

The first three points of the 10-point statement call for a more community-based approach to public safety.

The Dallas Police Department should not be the first responder to mental health calls unless a firearm is involved, according to the statement. Assigning mental health professionals and social workers to a first response team for these calls was also suggested.

“If a firearm is involved, these mental health teams will provide support to police officers responding,” according to the statement.

Both the city and county should increase investment in alternatives to police response to increase community safety, such as implementing community-based violence prevention and interruption programs.

A suggestion to discontinue the department’s intergovernmental service agreement with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and to implement incarceration prevention measures for minor offenses was also made.

Deportation can lead to much more severe consequences than the original minor offense would bring to other residents, according to the statement.

Increase in safety and accountability measures

The last seven points of the statement address the use of deadly force, accountability for police brutality and respect for diverse communities.

The statement requests the City of Dallas and the Dallas Police Department adopt policies that restrict the use of deadly force. These include not shooting a firearm if a suspect is unarmed, running away, attempting withdrawal, driving away, sitting in a parked car and situations in which the officer is alone.

It was also requested that the Dallas Police Department remove from armed patrol any officer involved in the use of deadly force until all investigations are completed.

Officers who have had multiple complaints of excessive force are requested to be terminated.

The Dallas Police Department and the county’s sheriff department should also be able to create and reinforce policies concerning “duty to intervene” to prevent officer misconduct, according to the statement.

Cases involving fatal police shootings between 2000 to 2018 were also included to be reviewed by the Dallas Police Department and the District Attorney’s office.

The final point in the statement requests law enforcement respect the diverse communities in the city and county, and police according to the specific needs and circumstances of marginalized populations.

The Dallas City Council is scheduled to meet via phone call Friday to discuss this week’s events and what the city can improve on.



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