Following the sentencing of Amber Guyer, a police officer who shot a black man in his own home because she mistakenly believed it was hers, the Dallas community is still feeling especially tense.
For years, the city has been preparing to unveil its Community Police Oversight board and at this pivotal moment last Tuesday, October 8, it finally held its first meeting.
But when the board moved to adjourn before hearing any comments or concerns from the public, the response was sudden and chaotic. Officers restrained several attendees who became upset.
***BREAKING*** Incredibly tense moment breaks out at @ChiefHallDPD’s first Community Police Oversight Board meeti… https://t.co/ckQXuURiKG— Matt Howerton (@Matt Howerton) 1570577709.0
Right now: Citizens refuse to leave meeting after board moves to close meeting without allowing time for public com… https://t.co/QZ5YhxilBR— Candace Sweat (@Candace Sweat) 1570577353.0
Many citizens were enraged when they realized the board they've spent months working to create with Chief Renee Hall was going to end its meeting without hearing from them, the most crucial part of the process.
@NBCDFW https://t.co/abMonssJBd— Candace Sweat (@Candace Sweat) 1570577579.0
Yes, Dallas police at the citizens oversight board meeting are wearing @DallasPD caps with Punisher skulls https://t.co/t29PJus2IN— Dell Cameron (@Dell Cameron) 1570579045.0
After the meeting had calmed, the board gave all who wanted to speak two minutes to do so.
Oversight board moves to allow public comment. People now seated. Two minutes a podium to speak. @NBCDFW https://t.co/oi73G20Hp0— Candace Sweat (@Candace Sweat) 1570577688.0
McKinney City Councilman La'Shadion Shemwell spoke to the board, saying:
"Don't let this board appointment and the position that you hold take control or blind your filters on what it is you're here to do. You're here to represent the people and to give us a fair opportunity when we are being handled or mishandled by the police here in this city."
This is how DPD handles the people they’re supposed to serve and protect at the public *oversight* meeting. https://t.co/0KgbWBhp1Q— Breh Rabbit (@Breh Rabbit) 1570636811.0
Changa Higgins, an activist who worked closely with Chief Hall to make sure the board materialized, reminded them of their purpose.
"You exist to ensure accountability, justice, procedural fairness for us, not them."
“We will continue to hold you accountable at every single one of these meetings.”— Candace Sweat (@Candace Sweat) 1570578381.0
@CandaceNBC5 For every courageous person that held their ground and made the Dallas Police Oversight Board accounta… https://t.co/2spHsOTDE3— LaughingDaffodil (@LaughingDaffodil) 1570592442.0
Many commenters asked for three of the board members to resign over claims that they don't believe in the idea of a police oversight board.
Earlier this year Tami Brown Rodriquez said the city board created to oversee police misconduct complaints should b… https://t.co/w0w0nlZNrw— Hayat Norimine (@Hayat Norimine) 1570066309.0
One board member, Janice Coffee, admitted she was previously not in favor of boards such as the one she now serves on.
So the cops who were at the first Community Police Oversight Board meeting in Dallas have already caused a Use of F… https://t.co/4TVBJn7tKy— champagne socialist 🥂🌹 (@champagne socialist 🥂🌹) 1570579977.0
Hopefully, over time, the board and the Dallas community establish a healthy relationship that serves to improve the area as a whole and provide equal justice for all people.
Have you listened to the first season of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!'?
In season one we explored the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
We're hard at work on season two so be sure to subscribe here so you don't miss it when it goes live.
Here's one of our favorite episodes from season one. Enjoy!