A Dallas protest group says it is not satisfied with Chief David Brown's response to its demands for police reform. It’s the reason the group decided to have a protest Friday night before they were rained out.
Next Generation Action Network is the group behind several police brutality protests, including the peaceful one that ended with the deadly ambush that killed five police officers.
The group recently sent Chief Brown a list of demands that include reducing enforcement of minor crimes and a review of the department's use of force policy. The chief responded Thursday afternoon, making one significant change.
That big change has to do with officers involved in a shooting having to wait 72 hours before making a statement to investigators. The Next Generation Action Network wanted that abolished.
The chief obliged to the groups requests, but it’s not having the desired effect.
At a news conference held Friday morning, the director of legal affairs for the group called the chief's response "a sham."
Attorney Kim Cole said DPD's response fails to specifically address items that pertain to police brutality. She also claimed the chief handpicked what he wanted to answer.
"This is not a joke. This is not a game. This is nothing more a veiled attempt to silence the movement," said Cole. "These responses are a joke."
There 25 demands total, but DPD only responded to 14 of them, Cole said. Among those, the group wanted DPD to abolish the mandatory window officers involved in a shooting had to wait before talking to internal affairs.
Going forward, the chief said officers will have the same rights as all citizens, which still means they don’t have to say anything immediately after a shooting.
“What we wanted to do was minimize that time frame, not increase it,” said Cole. “And that is what Dallas Police has effectively done with their brand new police. Thank you, Dallas Police. Now officers will not have to make a statement ever.”
“So what David Brown has done now is all officers have the same rights as any other citizens going through a criminal investigation,” explained attorney Pete Schulte. “Well in this particular case, as Ms. Cole stated, they have a right to remain silent as part of the criminal investigation. However, under the internal investigation, they can be compelled. They can be forced to give a statement.”
The head of the Black Police Officer’s Association of Greater Dallas said his organization is willing to work with the protest group and its organizer, Dominique Alexander.
“We’d like to work with Dominique and this group and try to come up with some solutions to any type of issue or problems they may have within the Dallas Police Department,” said Thomas Glover, president of the police association. “We want to continuously meet with them to try to find ways to bridge that gap.”
Alexander was recently arrested for old traffic warrants and violating his probation associated with a 2009 cause of serious bodily injury to a child. He has since bonded out.
The Next Generation Action Network was calling Friday’s rally ‘Free Speech Friday.’ The group said it’s about maintaining and expressing their first amendment right.
The rally was set to start at 6:30 p.m. but was canceled due to the weather.
NGAN issued the following response to Chief Brown's response to the group's demands. (Mobile users can click here.)