DALLAS - Activists are planning to protest during tonight’s National Night Out event in Dallas.
National Night Out is celebrated annually to promote community policing efforts. In Dallas, Attorney General Loretta Lynch will join Mayor Mike Rawlings for activities sponsored by the Dallas Police Department.
The civil rights group Next Generation Action Network is upset because it was not invited to any meetings with Lynch. It said it had no choice but to protest.
“We want our voices to be heard. The community wants to be heard. We want Loretta Lynch to open up an investigation into the Dallas Police Department because we are afraid that the Dallas Police Department is covering up a lot of things,” said Dominique Alexander, NGAN’s founder.
Rev. Ronald Wright with Justice Seekers Texas called the protest plans a waste of time. But he said Alexander makes a valid point when asking why no community activists or organizations were invited to meet with Lynch.
“Congressman Marc Veasey’s recommendation is what Justice Seekers requested years ago and that was a federal oversight when it comes to these police shootings of unarmed black men and boys. The protest will not accomplish anything. However they can start voting and petitioning for a federal oversight,” he said.
On Monday, Lynch spoke with students and police cadets in Dallas about ways to bridge the gap between law enforcement officials and the community.
“It is work that takes time. It is work that begins before there is a tragedy before there is a difficult situation. And it continues after that and it requires the kind of commitment that you all have shown here in Dallas. It could be that you all may have some insight that could help other jurisdictions that are hurting right now,” she said.
She also announced plans to give more federal funding to local police departments. The city of Dallas will receive more than $3 million to hire about 25 officers.