"Most Powerful Pages on the Planet"
October 1, 2010
Volume 3, Number 5
Darwin Campbell, Executive Publisher
A Weekly Publication
Activists: D.A.'s Move Signals Change on Horizon
Warn Indictments Alone No Cure All For Dallas Police Brutality
Dallas DA Craig Watkins
"No one is above the law. If you break the law in Dallas County, we will pursue those charges against you." Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins during the press conference announcing indictments.
DALLAS, TX. - Community activists praise Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins historic decision to indict three police officers involved in a Sept. 5 attack on an African-American man, but warn the action will not be the cure all to solve police brutality in the Dallas Police Department.
“Generations of Black and Browns have had to endure injustices in Dallas County at the hands of a police with a White Citizen Council type mentality,” said Irving NAACP activist and community leader Anthony Bond. “I applaud DA Craig Watkins decision. It was the only right and just thing to do and I hope the judicial system uses these (police) officers as an example,”
Former Dallas Police officers Kevin Randolph, Paul Bauer and Henry Duetsch futures are hanging in the balance as each now must be brought to justice.
According to reports, Randolph, allegedly hit Andrew Collins with his baton after a brief chase. He was indicted for first degree aggravated assault by a public servant, official oppression, and tampering with a government record.
Bauer, the driver of the patrol car, allegedly was seen punching Collins and was indicted on aggravated assault and official oppression.
Duetsch, allegedly is accused of turning the video camera in his squad car to allegedly avoid capturing the incident on tape and was indicted for tampering with physical evidence.
In a Thursday press conference, Watkins made it clear that future abuses by police officers will not be tolerated.
Bond said indictments will not correct decades of bad justice, but convictions should send a strong message that could hinder an escalation of future brutality cases in minority communities.
“For years, some have abused their power and used it to kill us, beat us and imprison us,”he said.“This could be the divine signal from God that the days of oppression at the hands of police are numbered.”
Longtime Dallas Civil Rights activist Lee Alcorn said despite the breakthrough, African-Americans and Hispanics cannot let their guards down.
“(Craig) Watkins is trying to do the right thing,” he said. “He listened to to voices of those crying out for justice like no one has before and that is good. We did not have this in the past with other district attorneys. Now we have to see where it goes from here.”
Alcorn said the entire incident should not only raise public awareness in the African-American community, but also demonstrate how important it is for citizens to get involved and make their presence known on issues and demand to be heard.
“Show up because your voice and presence are important,” he said. “It is the single most dominant factor in forging that change in our society today.”
He said unfortunately the indictments of the Dallas officers is not the total cure all for brutality going on within the police force.
“Renegades will always be on police forces and will try to abuse the system and do things in and to the (Black-Hispanic) communities,” he said. “We must be vigilant and monitor our communities and incidents on a case by case basis.”
New Black Panther Party Southern Regional Chairman Drew X is thankful for the indictments, but was quick to dismiss the notion that it marks the end of brutality in Dallas.
“Many have died and must not be forgotten,” he said. “One press conference wont wipe away years of abuse. As it stands now, DPD stands for the Devil's Police Department and it will continue to be that way until we see some real changes.”
Some of those changes include a more professionalism, trust, sensitivity and respect when dealing with African-Americans, more proactive policing that includes coming into the community to teach and work with residents.
“We take it that a changing of the guard is coming,” he said. “However, the days of brutality will not go away voluntarily. We will not let our guard down and will be vigilant and continue to fight for justice and expose abuses.”
JusticeSeekers Texas Executive Director Rev. Ronald Wright describes the indictment as a two-edge sword.
“This situation is unfortunate, but we know the DA made the right move,” he said. “Now we want to see the meat and potatoes.”
Wright said his continued efforts to fight for justice are deeply rooted and dedicated to those who were killed and maimed by Dallas police officers.
Wright said. “This was a historic decision and it has opened the door,” he said. “We see it as the beginning of a long journey and now it is up to us to walk through that door and continue the work of fighting for real justice.”