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Thursday night, Dallas residents were invited to join an online Town Hall to discuss the role of the Community Police Oversight board. It was hosted by Councilman Casey Thomas, who represents southern Dallas, with police monitor Tonya McClary; chairman Jesuorobo Enobakhare Jr., chairman Changa Masomakali and community activist Olinka Green.
The board has 15 members and has been on hiatus sue to COVID-19 but McClary said she has received at least 50 complaints over the handling of protests in Dallas sparked by the Death of George Floyd.
The board announced a hotline for protesters: 469-701-0349 if they have had any issues with police over the last week and for all other matters including if they witness police brutality, call 214-671-8283.
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The Dallas Police Department also received 10 demands and ideas from local civil rights and faith leaders. Here is a summary:
1. Dallas police should not be the first responder to a mental health crisis, unless a weapon is involved.
2. The city should rely on alternates to police response, such as community-based violence prevention and interruption programs.
3. Discontinue their intergovernmental agreement with ICE and implement incarceration prevention measures for minor offenses, like a broken tail light.
4. Dallas police adopt specific policies restricting the use of deadly force.
5. No armed patrol for officers who are involved in a deadly force incident until investigations are completed.
6. The Dallas Police Department and the Dallas County DA’s office should review fatal police shootings from 2000-2018 and look at policy changes that might have prevented a shooting.
7. Fire or furlough officers whose testimony is not credible to be used in court or officers who have multiple complaints of excessive force.
8. Create/review/reinforce policies with “duty to intervene” to prevent officer misconduct and “duty to render aid” to person due to officer conduct
9. Release people over 65 from jail who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have existing health conditions. Reduce the jail population to ensure 6-foot social distancing.
10. Law enforcement must respect diverse communities in the Dallas area. Document their interactions with any and all disenfranchised members of the community.
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