David Villalobos, a campaign coordinator for the Texas Organizing Project, made the following statement in response to an organizational meeting with Dallas Police Department Chief Hall:
“Having publicly called on Chief Hall’s resignation following her reaction to the June 1st peaceful protest on the Margaret Hunt Bridge, a group of Texas Organizing Project members, staff, and supporters met with Chief Hall yesterday afternoon. Our intent was to address the police response to protests and the overall state of policing in Dallas. As torch-bearers in the social justice movement, we came to the meeting with these demands:
Stop arresting protestors, even when on a roadway.
Ban the use of any projectile or tear gas
Ban the tactic of kettling
Stop working and coordinating with DPS State Troopers, whether it be protests or in Dallas neighborhoods.
Publicly support the implementation of cite and release for eight eligible offenses under Texas state statute 16.04
Support the reallocation of some of DPD’s budget to address underlying social-economic factors in communities. “
Patricia Ward, a Texas Organizing Project member who was present said, “while there was no commitment and additional follow up will happen around the matters pertaining to the protests and state troopers, our organization was encouraged to learn Chief Hall supports the implementation of the eight cite and release eligible offenses under Texas statute 16.04, and that she is open to identifying opportunities to find money within the current police budget and outsourcing some police responsibilities. While there was disagreement over the term defunding, there was agreement that social-economic issues need to be addressed by other means than the use of police. We look forward to having more constructive conversations with Chief Hall in an effort to keep the Dallas Police Department accountable to the people they serve. Our fight for justice is righteous, and we won’t stop demanding an end to police brutality and racial disparities in policing because our lives depend on it.”
Texas Organizing Project organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris and Bexar counties with the goal of transforming Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. For more information, visit organizetexas.org.