DALLAS, TX – The year of 2020 has been tough for many cities, and Dallas is one of them. Data regarding the number of homicides within the city details that murders have reached a high not seen in 16 years.
Dallas ended the year with 251 murders, including two killings that occurred in the final hour of 2020, according to a departmental spokesman. https://t.co/l3BpKuoRJT
— WFAA (@wfaa) January 2, 2021
When Dallas ushered in the new year, it left behind a troubling 2020 – as there were a recorded 251 murders within the city throughout the year. Which two of the murders reportedly transpired within the last hour of 2020.
Sheldon Smith, who serves as the president of the Dallas chapter of the National Black Police Association, stated the disturbing trends that have been impacting Dallas:
“It’s almost one [murder] every night. They happen downtown, they happen in southern Dallas, North Dallas. They’re occurring all over the place.”
During the last nine days of 2020, the city was seeing more than just an average of one murder a night – as there were a total of 13 homicides that occurred during that span of time.
While Dallas had been impacted by a soaring murder rate in 2020, the DPD’s homicide unit has been hosting an impressive figure in clearance rates of homicide investigations – boasting a 79% rate to date for the year.
There’s divided opinions on what exactly led to such a violent 2020 in Dallas. With so many unique factors attributed to 2020, such as the protests/riots and the adverse effects of the pandemic relating to the economy, naming one specific element as the primary impetus is difficult.
Mike Mata, who serves as the president of the Dallas Police Association, brought a unique perspective regarding how the pandemic may have influenced the types of crimes committed by criminals.
Mata suggested that with how the pandemic affected businesses like bars and restaurants – namely, with many being closed – perhaps criminals that may have normally been pickpockets in those establishments could’ve altered their criminal behavior to entertain crimes like armed robberies elsewhere.
Obviously, the likelihood of an armed robbery evolving into fatal violence is substantially higher than someone engaging in pickpocketing.
But overall, even Mata can’t firmly say what has caused the uptick in homicides in Dallas:
“I think there’s a lot of different ingredients in this rise in crime, but we’ve got to get control of it.”
Another aspect unique to 2020 in Dallas was of course the strings of murders allegedly committed by 31-year-old Jeremy Harris, which his alleged acts were coined as being one akin to that of a serial killer.
The Dallas Police Deputy Chief says that the suspect fits the bill of a "serial killer" – and these cases are absolutely chilling.https://t.co/rGYxPB7DaP
— LawEnforcementToday (@LawEnforceToday) November 22, 2020
One of the city’s first murders was that of 28-year-old Dominique White, who was gunned down back in January allegedly by 28-year-old Jimmy Markell Chisolm.
The victim’s mother, Angela, described the impact her son’s death had on his four children. One of Dominique owns daughters said that she wished she could die so that she could be with her dad again, according to Angela:
“I said, ‘What about us?’ She said, ‘Well, I’ll right come right back.’ I say, ‘You won’t be able to come back when you see him.’ She said, ‘I just want to hold him, Nana.’”
A Mother's tears. Will the violence end a generation?
In Jan. my son was shot & died. The issue is it was another young black man. 30 minutes prior my son would see his children the last time. Not knowing this young man would appear out of the blue and take his life.
— Blush Up (@Blush89242626) March 13, 2020
Eddie Garcia, who is slated as the incoming police chief, stated that tackling violent crime in Dallas is going to be his top priority:
“I will take a reduction personally…It’s not just the numbers. It’s the perception of crime – both the perception and the numbers have to go in a better direction.”
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Back in November of 2020, Angela White spoke more in depth about how the community has been impacted by the increasing murder rate in Dallas. She stated that it had gotten to the point where young children were rhetorically asking if they “were next”.
Here’s that previous report.
DALLAS, TX – A mother who knows all too well about the heartache that comes with losing a son due to senseless violence recently spoke up about what other children are worried about in their city.
“For me to have lost my only child to childish behavior it’s devastating, it’s still devastating to me and the violence didn’t just end with my son. It continued and progressed," Angela White said. https://t.co/VOZdKycuSe
— WFAA (@wfaa) November 16, 2020
Namely, that concern being if they’ll be “next” on list growing list of murders in Dallas.
Angela White lost her son, who was albeit an adult at the time, but suffers nonetheless. Dominique was her only child – who was a father at the time when he was murdered.
No parent wants to see their child buried before themselves, whether that child is an adult or an adolescent.
But Dominique’s murder was just one of many that have plagued the city of Dallas in 2020, with his being noted as one of the first murders in a dismal year for the city regarding homicides.
White’s son was murdered around the Redbird area of Dallas on January 15th – with now the city having seen more than 200 murders since November 15th.
What weighs heavy on White’s heart is what she’s hearing from children in the area:
“I’m upset about the little children that walk around now asking ‘am I next?’”
It’s a disturbing sentiment to contemplate, with young children bearing concern of whether their life will be cut short due to rampant violence.
While White acknowledges that her son’s murder is not relative to the recent spike in violence in Dallas, she coined her son as being a part of that statistic nonetheless:
“My son is not a connection to the present violence that is going on, but he is a victim now…He had a name, he had a life, he left footprints, but now he’s a victim.”
But White also noted that what started with her son’s senseless killing early-on in 2020 has only gotten worse within the city she calls home:
“Domonique was my only child, he was a father and a family man. For me to have lost my only child to childish behavior it’s devastating, it’s still devastating to me and the violence didn’t just end with my son. It continued and progressed.”
As of November 9th, Dallas has played host to 204 homicides. For the sake of perspective, this time last year there were 173. When it relates to aggravated assault, the increase in those crimes have jumped up over 30% this year.
Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata says that the only way to get to the bottom of many of these murders is through the assistance of the public:
“These crimes are not committed in a bubble. Some people know who committed these crimes, some people know who committed these shootings and these murders and they need to help the Dallas Police Department.
“They need to pick up that phone and help their own communities.”
Mata says that if locals within the community don’t adhere to the prior sentiments of informing police about suspected malefactors, then that only affords the criminals more opportunity to victimize community members:
“If not they’re just going to go out there and look for more victims. And that victim, that victim is going to be your brother, that victim is going to be your mother, father, your sister, your wife or your kids.”
When remarking on the increase in aggravated assaults, Mata explained that more often than not – those were merely unsuccessful attempts at murdering someone:
“Just remember an agg assault, for the most part, a lot of times, is just somebody who has a bad aim. It’s usually somebody who intended to commit a murder [and] either 1: they missed, or 2: they did hit the complainant and didn’t kill them.”
With the uptick in the various crimes, Mata also pointed out that they’re down roughly 700-800 officers to keep crime in check:
“To be honest with you, we can’t keep up. Not if the crime is going to keep going like this.”
Mirroring the sentiments of Mata, White explained that as long as people are willing to remain silent then the violence will continue to effect families in various forms of loss:
“If we choose to say nothing, then everything continues to happen. If we choose to ignore a problem, then it will always be a situation.”
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