Dallas News reporters Cassandra Jaramillo and Hayat Norimine explained that City Council member Adam Bazaldua on Thursday asked the Dallas Police Department to boot the Texas Department of Public Safety’s troopers out of South Dallas and come up with a new crime-fighting strategy.
“What is happening right now is wrong and I’m asking that it stop,” Bazaldua said of the troopers’ enforcement efforts.
Several other council members and Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot joined Bazaldua, who represents South Dallas, at Dallas City Hall for the news conference.
It should be noted that Councilman Bazaldua gave absolutely no plan of his own to help Dallas Police.
Dallas, and especially South Dallas, has experienced a spike in murders and other vicious crimes since May of this year, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott offered up Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) personnel and resources for a “boots on the ground” approach to proactive enforcement.
In a typical battle between knee-jerk emotional reactions and those of reason and logic, we can see the complaints happening when people don’t understand their presence or possibly have something to hide.
This is eerily reminiscent of the recent incident at a Starbuck’s in Tucson, Arizona where several Tucson PD officers were asked to leave a Starbuck’s because someone felt “uncomfortable” with their presence.
“Activist Changa Higgins, 46, said he has seen state troopers on every major thoroughfare in South Dallas. Higgins, who lives in Eban Village on Park Row, said watching state troopers ‘creates anxiety even for me’ when they’re not trained to work with the community there.
He said he warns his kids about police presence and is concerned for their safety whenever they come visit him. Higgins is a former employee of The Dallas Morning News, said he feels like he’s living in ‘a police state’.
‘It just feels heavy-handed, excessive, and it feels like South Dallas is being punished for the increased homicides and taking the brunt of overhanded policing tactics for the whole city,’ Higgins said.”
“Anxiety” and “a police state.”
The fact that this man can make those statements without fear of reprisal or incarceration shows that Dallas isn’t a “police state.” And anxiety?
Why would any law-abiding citizen, going about their daily tasks, feel anxiety over the presence of police officers – if I were a resident of South Dallas, the increase in the murder rate and other barbaric crime would surely cause me to worry, but not the presence of the men and women stationed there to protect the citizens.
And “not trained to work with the community there”?
That’s a puzzling statement from an “activist” who surely has no idea about what Texas state troopers are trained in and the massive hours of legal- and community-related training they receive.
As for “overhanded policing tactics,” in irony, it appears Mr. Higgins isn’t complaining about an abundance of murders, rapes, and drug-related crimes.
Governor Abbott offered to help Dallas for several reasons, it appears. First, the aforementioned spike in violent crime.
Couple that with a Dallas Police Department that is struggling to maintain manning quotas and recruitment efforts, given the recent replacement of beloved Chief David Brown with a very progressive, almost anti-police Chief Renee Hall.
Former Chief Brown came up through the ranks, born and raised in South Dallas, and after criticism following the assault and murder of five Dallas officers during a Black Lives Matter rally, Chief Brown shut down protestors by insisting they either apply and put on the uniform or support the department in silence.
Chief Renee Hall has made several unpopular and unsupportive moves within the department that has long-time officers retiring or transferring.
The efforts of increased manning in the area and the presence of Texas DPS Troopers have paid off and surely benefitted the citizens of Dallas.
DPS officials have said the traffic-stop-focused enforcement efforts in Dallas have led to more than 11,000 warnings, more than 400 arrests and the seizure of dozens of guns and pounds of illicit drugs. Troopers have also served 250 warrants, police said.
On Wednesday, DPS said in a statement they continue to “willingly and proudly support our partners with the Dallas Police Department in their efforts to protect the residents of the Dallas area by combating violent crime and criminal activity.”
Texas DPS spokespersons did not respond specifically to the city councilman’s remarks yesterday.