"The Most Powerful Pages on The Planet"
September 28, 2008
Volume 1 - No.19
Darwin Campbell, Executive Publisher
A Bi-Weekly Publication
"Indict Police Officers for Murdering Black Men"
FACT: No police officer in Dallas or Dallas County history has ever been indicted for murdering a Black man.
DALLAS-This horrifying fact is once again on the forefront and the principle soon to be tested in the latest killing of an African-American man.
Only this time, Black activists insist that nothing short of changing that trend will be acceptable in the police shooting involving Army veteran and father of three Derrick Jones.
“The shooting and killing of Black men is unacceptable,” said longtime Texas Civil Rights Activist Peter Johnson. “We will continue this protest until police officer is indicted for murder. Police do not have the right to murder unarmed citizens and must stop using deadly force to kill unarmed citizens.”
Johnson, a community and social activist for over four decades, is no stranger to fighting for civil right and justice having marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s.
On Tuesday night September 16, Derrick Jones, 31, was shot in the heart by Dallas Police Office Rene Villanueva. Vilanueva, a rookie cop, has been with the DPD for about a year and a half. The shooting allegedly happened after Jones was involved in a minor traffic accident.
According to police reports, Jones allegedly was fighting the officer and in the ensuing struggle felt he might lose consciousness, feared for his life and took one shot at Jones striking him and killing him. Activists pressed police who later admitted that Jones was unarmed and did not have a weapon.
“Police have access to mace, tear gas, tasers and Billy clubs, why is pulling that gun and shooing Black men the first thing policeman think when confronting Black men,” Johnson said. “This officer killed a father and a veteran serviceman because of a traffic incident. He did not have a stick, a rock, a club or a gun.”
In recent years, the killing of Black men in the custody of the Dallas Police Department is nothing short of an epidemic.
Jones is the latest death in a series of killings of Black males by the DPD. Others include Tennel Hurd, Alan Simpson, James Wood, and Brandon Washington. In each case, no indictments or chargers were ever handed down in either case.
“This is déjà vu,” said activist Rev. Ronald Wright. “We are sick and tired of this. He was unarmed. This was another case of a cold-blooded kill shot and justice must be served on this police officer so that this never happens again.”
One of the main themes in all the cases of beatings, brutality and death are the stereotypes, racist overtones and the failure of police to care about protecting the most basic and sacred rights guaranteed to every citizen living in this democracy.
The Jones case remind of the abuses going on 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.
Lee Alcorn, founder of the Coalition for the Advancement of Civil Rights (CACR) and a veteran Black activist, contends a different law enforcement a standard exists behind the blue shield for dealing with Blacks and Whites.
“This is a symptom of a greater problem because no Whites are ever killed or shot down dogs,” he said. “We wonder why Police Chief David Kunkle or officers feel its O.K. to shoot to kill first. Why can’t these officers learn to restrain without killing the unarmed?”
Alcorn said his main concern is that too many police officers are being protected by grand juries thus becoming an obstruction to justice for families and the public.
“This is an outrage we can no longer tolerate,” he said. “We want to know what the policy is on shooting unarmed citizens and we want the police chief to change this Wild West mentality and outlaw justice being executed against Black males.”
Police codes in most 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.
Citizens should be able to venture into your neighborhoods or businesses without being targeted for torment, death or terrorized by police officer fears, 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.
One police death is too many. One more in Dallas/Fort Worth is unacceptable!!!
Good citizens must stand up and demand a higher standard now.
Mother's Loss Sparks Fight With Dallas Police Over Killing Black Men
No Apology From Chief Kunkle in Police Shooting of Son/Father of Three
DALLAS- Lola Jones was the proud mother of four sons, but Tuesday night Sept. 16 changed all that forever.
Her son, Derrick Jones was shot dead by a Dallas police officer Rene Villanueva after a brief confrontation with the officer over a small traffic incident. Jones was unarmed at the time of the shooting.
He is the latest killing in a list of African-American men killed by Dallas Police officers.
“He was taken from us for no reason and this hurts me dearly,” Jones said. “My son had no chance. He was murdered by someone who is supposed to serve and protect.”
Derrick Jones was a veteran of the U.S. Army, was employed and had a wife, three children. He also left behind three brothers and a host of relatives and friends.
News agencies reported that he struck Villanueva three times which caused him to shot him in the heart. However, several witnesses of the confrontation reported that Jones did not come within 10 feet of the officer before the deadly shot was fired.
Dallas police officials contend the department’s shoot to kill policy is a judgment call and officers have the right to make such decisions when they feel their own life might be in danger. Jones was not armed – a fact the police acknowledge.
“Chief Kunkle never apologized nor did he send condolences,’ she said. “My son is dead and one of his officers did it – It doesn’t make sense.”
Lola Jones said she is not only seeking truth and justice for her son, but wants the Dallas Police Department to change its shoot to kill policy and procedures when dealing with incidents involving unarmed citizens. She also hopes state officials or legislators will hold a state panel or review investigating the police killings of all African-Americans and other minorities groups across Texas.
“It’s hunting season right now on Black men in Dallas,” she said. “It is wrong to kill under the authority of a blue shield or badge. If something is not done, this officer or another officer has another chance to do this again to another Black father and son.”
Dallas Police must be feeling heat from the latest killing. Last week, a rally on his behalf was interrupted by police who broke up the peaceful rally honoring and remembering Jones.
Brother Dalon Jones does not accept the DPD explanations and stands with his mother in the call for truth and justice.
“My brother was a human being and he loved the community” Dalon Jones said. “Everyone knew him as always having a smile on his face. SO we want answers, no we deserve answers and if my brother was murdered by DPD, then justice needs to be served. “
He also questions department procedures and training when dealing with confrontations.
“What are the tasers for,” Jones said. “They are trained to use other shooting methods and if there was a struggle as they say, the officer should have shot him any where but the heart and killing him.”
“They (the DPD) keep saying that my brother had drugs in his system. If so, that still does not give them the right to shot an unarmed man in the heart. That was a shoot to kill shot.”
To add insult to injury, DPD officials still have not returned Jones personal belonging to the family.
“They still have not released my brother's property, such as his driver’s license, wallet, cell phone, and the clothes that he was murdered in,” he said.
Mother Jones said she hurts most for the wife and children he left behind.
“His kids cry out for their daddy,” she said. “They don’t understand what has happened to their daddy and why he’s gone away.”
This mother lost a son. This wife lost a husband and this sibling lost a brother.
Jones said she now understands the pain and grief of other mothers who have had to bury their sons in Dallas at the hands of police shooting, abuse or brutality.
“I can’t bring my son back, but I can fight to stop it from happening to another mother’s child,” she said. “I have lost Derrick now, but that will not stop me for fighting for justice and I will go to my grave fighting for him.”