"Most Powerful Pages on the Planet"
March 30, 2009
Volume 2 - No. 11
Darwin Campbell, Executive Publisher
A Weekly Publication
To "Protect and Serve" or "Bully and Intimidate"
Do Texas Police Departments Hunt, Taunt & Target Blacks/Hispanics?
Dallas Stop Incident Widens Trust Gap Between Police and Public
DALLAS- Pulling guns on Black and Hispanics, using harsh words like “ I Can Screw You Over” and “Shut Your Mouth” and "I Will Arrest You and Take You To Jail" are common and very real symptoms of growing negative patterns of disrespect, mistreatment and abuse of public citizens by police officers on the streets and highways across Texas.
The Dallas Police Department is the latest poor example of how to “Protect” and Serve” .
It took an incident involving Dallas Police officer Robert Powell and NFL running back Ryan Moats over a traffic violation and a dying mother-in-law to thrust the intimation issue into the national spotlight and force the Dallas Police to face the music about its own shortcomings and the need for serious officer respect and sensitivity training.
Powell has been placed on administrative leave while an Internal Affairs investigation is being conducted.
Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle described Powell's actions as disappointing, “embarrassing” and inappropriate and unprofessional.
However, an honest review of many traffic stops and policies and procedures involving dealings with Blacks and Hispanics are as equally inappropriate, embarrassing and unprofessional.
One cannot dismiss the fact that this incident is neither isolated nor the first incident where the Dallas Police ran its own “red light”, ignored serious problems with its officers and the public and failed to make the necessary changes to build trust and truly protect and serve the public.
On March 22, 2007, Brandon Washington, 20, died at the hands of Dallas Police Officer Martin Rivera. Rivera shot Washington after stopping him on a complaint call Washington was accused of allegedly stealing a candy bar from a Pleasant Grove convenience store.
Police said Washington was reaching into his pocket and the officer contended he feared for his safety and fired four shots, but Washington was unarmed and no weapon was found on him.
This was an unjust shooting and using of brutal and deadly force on a young man, who only had candy in his pocket.
In April 2008, 20-year old Jaques Howard was shot by Dallas Police after a traffic stop at Bonnie View and Highland Hills Roads, because the vehicle had no front license plate.
In that shooting, police claimed the officer was defending his life, but shot 10 times hitting Howard five times.
According to the police reports, Howard was a passenger in the car, but bailed out and ran to jump a fence. At no time was it reported that he lifted his gun against officer, but because officers saw a gun opened fired shooting 10 rounds. Howard later died from his injuries.
In Sept 2008, Derrick Jones, 31, of Dallas was shot to death after a traffic stop and that shooting was caught on the police dash cam.
DPD Officer Villanueva followed his vehicle and when it finally came to rest, got out of his car, and confronted Jones. The officer then attempted to arrest Jones and demanded he show his hands.
When the officer approached the man, a struggle began. The officer was allegedly hit three times in the head by Jones and when the officer feared losing control of the situation and his life, he pulled his weapon and shot the man once in the upper body. Jones died later of his injury.
Jones was unarmed, but did have a brief scuffle with the officer, but was clearly holding out his hand when the officer fired at close range killing him.
In January 2009 in Bellaire, just outside Houston, Robbie Tolan, a budding baseball minor leaguer, was shot New Year's Eve by Bellaire police in front of his home during an alleged traffic stop in his driveway.
The shooting left him unable to run or walk without pain, and he has two broken ribs and a hematoma on his liver.
Bellaire police said they pulled Tolan over on the night of the shooting because they thought he was in a stolen car.
His parents were also harassed, slammed and roughed up when they came out of their home to vouch for their son.
The Austin Police and San Antonio Police Department also has had its fair share of police shootings that have resulted in the deaths of African-Americans and Hispanics.
These cases and many others untold should remind the public of the abuses going on in large and small police departments across the state of Texas and nationwide where the “Badge” is fast becoming the new symbol designating who the “Bad Boys, Bad Boys” really are.
This growing problem in Texas also must be addressed by city councils and county commissioners in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio and in every American city where abuses have occurred.
Unfortunately, this hidden cancer is growing because city officials turn their heads and fail to listen to the people on the streets being disrespected, harassed and mistreated
The big question that looms is how many times do these stories have to be told and how many times does history have to repeat itself before Dallas and other Texas cities before the public statewide demands better behavior from its police departments.
Police procedures and codes in most Texas cities have clauses that remind and encourage all police officers to render aid and assistance to citizens, respect and protect the rights of citizens, and be courteous and treat citizens with the same dignity and respect they expect and want as fellow citizens and public servants.
Black and Hispanic males should be able to venture into neighborhoods or businesses without being targeted for torment, death or terrorized by some police officers personal demons, stereotypes and prejudices. It is time to face the facts that some of those who take oaths to protect and serve actually are going far beyond the norms of law in restraining and detaining citizens.
The continued abuse of “certain civil liberties” and the targeting of Blacks and Hispanics “just because” is a symptom of the sick psyches going on in the minds of some police officers whose racist tendencies, flawed personalities and personal failures leave them in a state of mind to take out their frustrations on minorities in the name and under the cover of the law.
These abuses are unacceptable!!!
Grand jury records prove that juries are extremely kind to policemen who decided to kill or beat the hell out of citizens at will and take God’s seat above the state laws, judges and jury.
Many citizens and suspects human and civil rights are violated and in the process and those same as those same officers are making life and death decisions about who should live and die on streets that belong to the taxpaying citizens.
Citizens must be prepared to deal with incidents like this that are becoming more common place than rare.
There is no justice when it comes to being Black or Hispanics, because police apparently do not respect the most basic rights that citizens are suppose to enjoy under the constitution.
A sweeping new codes of conduct of respect is in order and new sensitivity training methods are needed for dealing with all citizens during arrests and traffic stops.
Also, strict disciplinary actions (firing) for officers who violate that sacred trust in any way.
How many more innocent people have to be brutally beaten, shot, maimed or killed by police before changes occur in our cities.
Pictures don’t lie and videos that have surfaced about police behavior during Texas traffic stops is frightening to the naked eye and should raise questions in the minds of Dallas Chief David Kunkle and every other police chief across Texas about who really is wearing “Blue” uniforms and can they really be trusted.
There are hundreds of Robert Powell's riding in squad cars and on motorcycles across Texas.
Texas Police Departments need to take a real honest hard look in the mirror because Officer Robert Powell is not the only one with a problem and neither should he be the only fall guy.
Police officers found to have stepped on the line and over must be removed and the public must demand that now, before another incident happens that results in the funeral of a loved one!!!!