After a Deadly Shooting by Dallas Police, a South Dallas Neighborhood Shows Up and Speaks Out

Categories: Crime

officers in riot gear.jpg
Officers in riot gear entering the cordoned-off scene.
A southern Dallas neighborhood flooded the streets in outrage late yesterday, after a 31-year-old man was shot dead by a Dallas police officer during a chase from a suspected drug house.

Police say they believe the suspect-turned-victim, a veteran criminal named James "G-Code" Harper, was shot in the stomach and hand during a protracted physical fight with the officer, who, along with two others, had flushed Harper and three other suspects from the house after receiving a call about a possible kidnapping there.

But as the large crowd gathered on the street, and as police in riot gear swarmed in an effort to keep the peace, people on the street insisted that Harper had been shot in the back.

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When I arrived at the corner of Dixon Street and Bourquin Avenue around 6:15 p.m., I found what had already become a very crowded scene: Dozens of police, some of them with riot shields and helmets or carrying large assault rifles, had cordoned off the intersection. On either end of Dixon, more police vehicles blocked cars from driving through the area. A crowd of what looked like several hundred people, including many women and children, were gathering in groups all up and down Dixon. (Other outlets reported fistfights in the crowd, and overhead footage from Fox 4 showed a chaotic scene, with people scattering this way and that. I didn't witness any violence during two hours at the scene.)

"Can you tell me what happened?" I called to a man walking away from the crowd.

He glared at me. "They killed my son," he shouted, and continued walking. A friend beside him put a hand on his shoulder.

Later, at a press conference at Dallas police headquarters, Chief David Brown said three officers originally went to the house in response to a 911 call. The caller said "five or six Latin males with guns" were dragging a black male into the house with his hands tied behind his back.

Brown said when DPD officers arrived, they knocked on the door and "heard people scurrying around trying to get out" and the sound of windows breaking. He said when police got into the house, they saw a handgun on a table and crack cocaine "all over" both the house and yard.

Police chased four men from the house. Officer Brian Rowden pursued Harper through an alley over three fences, Brown said. In the process, the two got into "three separate physical fights," Brown said. He said a neighbor saw the second fight from her back porch and called 911.

Rowden started "losing the fight," Brown said, and was being beaten by Harper. After the third fight, he said, Harper told Rowden, "You're gonna have to kill me."

"Fearing for his life," Brown told reporters, Rowden pulled out his gun and shot Harper.

No gun was recovered from Harper's body, only a "wad of cash" in his front pocket, Brown said.

Police now believe that the original 911 call was bogus. Brown said there's a "family feud happening in the neighborhood" between rival drug dealers, and that they think the call was made deliberately in order to bust up the competition.

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Many of the people on the street after the shooting said they were friends and relatives of Harper's. Many, too, were furious about the number of police shootings in Dallas this year: there have been 13 others so far, eight of them fatal. (To counter-balance those numbers, Brown noted last night that assaults on officers are up from last year.)

"This is about the third time in four months that these officers have shot a man in the back," said Reverend James McMillon, who was standing in a knot of people near Dixon's Grocery. "There needs to be some kind of protocol for this."

Witnesses on the scene said Harper had recently gotten out of prison. Brown read out his arrest record at the press conference last night. It included a litany of charges, including manufacturing and selling a controlled substance, evading arrest and assault on an officer. (The Dallas County online system is currently down; we'll check his record for ourselves when it's back up.)

"He had 10 years of parole," said a woman in the crowd who gave her name only as "Ebony." She said she was a first cousin of Harper's. "So he can't carry weapons. We know for a fact he was unarmed." Several people in the crowd said the house was a "weed house," and didn't sell other drugs.

"Police are always killing people, and it's always our people getting killed," said a woman who would only give her first name, Keisha. She's 40 years old and said she's lived near Dixon Street her whole life. "Every time you look around one of us is dead."

"They're saying we're throwing rocks and bottles out here," she added. "Ain't nobody causing no ruckus like that. We just out here a little heated."

"He was a good dude," said another man, Reginald Wheeler, who also said he knew Harper. "He just sold dope. That don't justify shooting a man in the back."

Brown said Officer Rowden will remain on paid leave pending an internal investigation. The shooting will then be referred to a grand jury. We've heard reports of a possible protest outside police headquarters later today.

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207 comments
soooforyou
soooforyou

Realllllllllyyyyyyyy!!!!!! Are you serious?? It wasnt right an until they are in your fricking backyard son you couldn't undertand. Research your facts ignorant before you speak!

Melissa Barker
Melissa Barker

I don't think that any person should be fired at to kill. Injure and disarm, yes. Saying that he was shot because of race in the same rite means that I'm any situation, no matter how urgent, if one race takes arms against a different race, it immediately becomes about skin, not the actual emergency.

logic4dallas
logic4dallas

Actually, Mr Calhoun, you didn't win your case because you were innocent or because you felt threatened. You won because you had a liberal judge that has been nationally shamed for her blatant disregard for the actual law and instead judges on her own personal whims. You impeded traffic and littered while in an area known for drug sales. When the officer approached you, you responded with attitude and visible contempt. When the officer ran your name, it was discovered that you had warrants for your arrest. As the officer attempted to arrest you, you turned and attempted to fight him. When his back up came, you continued to resist arrest and after being warned multiple times to stop fighting one of the officers discharged a taser into your side. You are the perfect example of what is wrong with Dallas County. People such as yourself and Mr. Harper believe they can do as they please without repercussions...and why wouldn't you, the DA and liberal judges are letting criminals off light or all together. I hope that you learned enough from the incident that you will try to stay out of trouble, but judging from your comments it seems you are doomed to repeat your criminal behavior. Quit playing the "poor me" or the race card...both are very tired and have absolutely no traction.

bcalhoun815
bcalhoun815

Wrong. I won an assault case of a Dallas police officer earlier this year due to the fact that just because u wear a badge does not give u the right to run up on me in any kind of manner. I went and put my life on the line so cunts like you can freely express your hate towards African Americans and our community. There is a such thing called demeanor and when approaching people u should be aware of your own. I won my case because in fact the police officers demeanor was threatening to do me harm before he approached me. That gives me the right to do 2 things. Run or stand my ground and defend myself. I chose to defend myself. I got shot in the back with a taser and charged with assault of public servant for j-walking. Now true enough I could have died that day but my refusal to allow law enforcement to overstep boundaries says that I have the right to protect myself from physical harm. Even if that threat is coming unwarranted from law enforcement. The young man CLEARLY WAS in fear of his life. If your 5years old child hit the police officer because he or she sees law enforcement physically hurting you,does the police have the right to shoot your child? ??? According to you he does. The instant your toddler hit the officer you have a dead child. That's someone's child who got killed and you can hide behind journalism to get your racist views across all you want but I'm a pretty skilled writer myself and I say its your children who need to be incarcerated and dehumanized because it YOUR FUCKIN CHILDREN SHOOTING UP MOVIE THEATRES. NOT OURS. Bitch get ya mind right. Lemme talk to em.

Adolphus Green's Art Odyssey
Adolphus Green's Art Odyssey

I agree with everyone who says James Harper is a criminal. And anyone selling drugs should not be oblivious to the fact that his days could be numbered whether it be a shooting from a police officer, or from one of his unhappy customers. Now putting that aside, Lupe Orosco and Rob Mendez seem to think racism and profiling does not exist among the police. You two being persons of color, you should know better. If the two of you are driving around in the State of Alabama or Arizona, I guarantee you will experience racism from driving while brown. Right now, in some states, they are trying to take away your right to vote. Whether you want to believe it or not, that trigger happy police officer would have seen you two as another James Harper. I'm not trying to turn this forum into a discussion of race, I'm just making sure some of you young people understand.

Andrew Goodwin Brown
Andrew Goodwin Brown

This specific neighborhood has been involved in this situation before. There are innocent folks in the neighborhood and there are guilty ones. I live around the corner and it's night and day within a matter of a few streets. I don't know the general desires of the community but I think there needs to be a solution to help eradicate the drugs in that area. That will allow this community to thrive - instead being in the news each year for another altercation that typically leads to death and is surrounded by a racism debate. There are many city organizations that need to step up. I'm sure they have before (at least I hope), but this isn't a loss cause. As Dallas spends all it's energy on its city center it needs to pay attention to these neighborhoods that are just beyond it's borders. This occurrence is another result of trying to ignore problem areas. I hope the innocent families will get their neighborhood back from the people Mr. Harper associated with. And I hope this story doesn't dissolve in few days like they usually do.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

These cops shooting people in the back is the tip-off that they're trigger-happy.

trudat
trudat

It is apparent that the police in Dallas are killing far too many people. If I have the correct numbers, the police have killed more people this year than the West Nile Virus. The chief seems to want to tie these murders to the number of assaults on officers that have supposedly taken place this year. Attacks on officers could be a cause in some cases, but what we are witnessing is bigger than a few assaults.

 

Whether this man was shot in the back or in front; whether the officer was attacked or not, this killing could have been avoided.  Police have many ways to apprehend criminals without killing them.  Deadly force should be used only to prevent a loss of life.  This officer endangered himself by his actions and then needlessly took a life.  At the least, he should be reprimanded for his irresponsible actions.  If this is the only option police have in cases like this, they need more training more training moretraining...

 

And one more thing; this type thing is happening more and more all over the country.  Is this part of a conspiracy?  Do these incidents point to some larger and more sinister problem? Do the police really protect and serve the people?  And if they do protect and serve the people;  what people are we talking about?

Juxtapose1
Juxtapose1

I like the part where the white guy murders the black guy, and the white guys in the comment section start calling the community a bunch of liars and that they should "raze" entire streets to the ground.  Why to break the stereotype people!!  Nice, nice job.More importantly, while you focus on drugs, and how the police NEVER do anything wrong lets take a look at something.  First, Chief Brown says that there was a foot chase, and that during it Rowden and Harper got into three "fights".  During any one of those confrontations Rowden could have tased Harper.  Or he could have called for back up.  Or, he could have stopped chasing him.  But no, he just couldn't quit, just couldn't let that crook get away on foot and have to hear about it from his police buddies for months. So he kept going....Second, Chief Brown relayed the quote directly from Harper to Rowden, "Your going to have to kill me", while at the same time they were unable to confirm if the man was armed or not, whether or not there were witnesses to these alleged fights, or even if the 9-11 call was real or not.  But they sure as hell could confirm that sentence couldn't they??  You know why..because it allows you to kill a man and get away with it. Third, Chief Brown says that Rowden "feared for his life", and that at that point he shot and killed Harper.  Later, the police report that was released, shows that Rowden was not injured, and that he refused medical attention.  No injuries..nothing..nadda...zilch.  After jumping all those fences, and getting into THREE fights with a "hardened criminal", the guy was good to go.   So the question is this, at what point did he actually fear for his life?  At what point did an officer with no injuries, and who did not require medical attention, fear for his life enough to shoot an unarmed man??Either the fights never happened, and we dont know because there are no witnesses, or they did and this "thug" was unable to cause any damage to this cop, or Rowden just couldn't let his ego go and had to kill this guy, who was obviously in better shape than he was.   USE A TASER.  SHOOT HIM IN THE LEG.  STOP CHASING HIM.  CALL FOR BACK UP.  Dallas Police deserve to be treated like shit because they are.  They are not professional, adn they murder unarmed people.  Fact.  

Benn
Benn

"He had 10 years of parole," said a woman in the crowd who gave her name only as "Ebony." She said she was a first cousin of Harper's. "So he can't carry weapons. We know for a fact he was unarmed.".....and maybe, I am not for sure but Hanging out in a Crack house could possibly be a parole violation too....just saying 

Benn
Benn

One of the occupational hazards of dealing drugs is DEATH

texpwr
texpwr

It will be interesting to hear the rest of the story..Sadly,the city actually owned this same property 2 years ago,probably seized in a forfeiture.

ErikDallas
ErikDallas

I personally think if a cop asks you to stop, you should stop.  But then again, I'm white.  I believe that makes me a racist,,,,

GimmeGalleon
GimmeGalleon

Check out 5316 Bourquin Street on Google Street View. That entire block ought to be razed. Call in the bulldozers!

DeadnGone
DeadnGone

I knew crack was wack, It got me killed running from that shack, Fighting with the popo was a my big bad, Now I’m dead and gone, no one to carry on, No one to keep momma rollin in the green Shot thru the gut, last thing I seen. No one else to blame but me, Lies about how I died won’t change nothin, I’m still dead and gone.

GimmeGalleon
GimmeGalleon

Officlal cause of death: Suicide by COP. Looks like Mr. Harper got EXACTLY what he was asking for.

Almeda Ilyse Gibson
Almeda Ilyse Gibson

It just would do people so much better to talk to someone who was actually THERE, being a news station doesn't mean you have the inability to lie....

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

It is time to focus on the fake 911 call.  DMN has a transcipt.  Officers were anticipating 5 to 6 armed people in the middle of a kidnapping.  A little context helps you understand the state of mind of the officers.

 

Based on this, the person making this call set all of these events into motion.  They killed Mr. Harper.

Almeda Ilyse Gibson
Almeda Ilyse Gibson

Rob Mendez yeah it does suck that people continuously make things about race.....but let's also not act like racism does not exist in our police departments ESPECIALLY in Dallas...and especially in that area... I've been there, I've seen it, and no I'm no hoodrat, uneducated person...but my eyes are not closed. But I guess because I AM black this would just be another rant that falls on deaf ears.

Almeda Ilyse Gibson
Almeda Ilyse Gibson

It's funny to see peoples reactions from the outside looking in....all of this happened not to far from where I live and his family is devastated on told of all the false information that you all are being given. There are a lot of eye witness accounts of what actually happened but hey, I guess 20+ people could all just be liars

Ross Pincock
Ross Pincock

When you get right down to it, take away all labels, just two guys in a fight, both in fear for their lives. How do you know how you would react if someone is kicking your ass in a fight and sayin' things like, "You're gonna have to kill me...", and in the midst of your fear you start wondering if they are right? I think a lot of cops have an inflated sense of authority and power in their communities. But I think drug dealers have the same inflation many times over. Drug dealers keep their communities in much more fear than cops. A drug dealer is a criminal. This shooting is completely justified in my opinion, based on the information I have.

philmccr69
philmccr69

We need a huge protest against black people acting like morons and blaming the police for everything. Seriously, downtown brown are some ignorant folks. News flash for you a$$holes: don't sell drugs, don't illegally carry guns, and don't run from the cops or have an attitude, you dipshits, and the cops will probably leave you alone.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Dallas cops have been on a gun-happy rampage. It must stop.

CelebrateDivershitty
CelebrateDivershitty

"They killed my son,"While watching the live coverage I counted at least 3 different mammies in the crowd who claimed the dead guy was their son.

reedtango
reedtango

I'm speaking in general here but these days personally I don't feel like police are out to "help" and "protect and serve" sometimes I feel like they're out to harass and make the city/state money.  Your situation/who you are doesn't matter--you are more of a moving target if you move your right hand.    I feel they are disgruntled people, jaded and numb to their everyday job at this point and don't necessarily connect with the people of the community.  And unfortunately these cops seem to overshadow the ones who really do care and want to make a difference or I imagine the "good cop-turned bad" scenario.  I have been followed a number of nights coming home late--they aren't trying to make sure I get home safely, they just want a reason to turn on the lights. Some I imagine just want the chance to pull the trigger. (i.e. "trigger happy")  I wouldn't doubt that this is all about "power" over another individual to some and I think thats sad. If you wake up everyday looking to get your jollies off on how bad you can ef up someone else's day you need a new profession.   

 

In any case once more details surface I hope that this individual and his family may get justice or the officer is handled accordingly.  They are taught or supposed to be taught all about precision so I imagine that officer knows truly whether he made the right or wrong decision. Either way both will be handled accordingly by their Makers.

travishuse
travishuse

this new commenting system sucks

prestidigination
prestidigination

 @logic4dallas You really enjoyed that Kool-Aid didn't you?

"You impeded traffic and littered"

trumped up charge to justify arrest

 

"while in an area known for drug sales"

I get it, you think if you are too poor to move away from drug problem areas then you must be doing something wrong.

 

"When the officer approached you, you responded with attitude and visible contempt."

Perhaps this is due to the police in the "area known for drug sale" using abusive tactics and de-humanizing training techniques. If you feel contempt for the police, what's wrong with that? Are the cops too thin skinned to be able to handle some well justified hate and mis-trust?

 

"You are the perfect example of what is wrong with Dallas County"

This sums you up pretty well. With corruption, graft, theft, and cronyism rampant at Dallas City Hall, you want to blame the people for what's wrong with Dallas.

 

What a nut job.

 

monkeypuncher
monkeypuncher

 @bcalhoun815 Dude. Honestly, if you want cops to leave you alone, join a constitutional minuteman militia. Its legal (authorized by the second amendment and the 1903 Militia Act) and everyone knows texas militia dont get fucked with by cops OR gangbangers.

 

www.wramsite.com

ASaneHumanBeing
ASaneHumanBeing

 @Juxtapose1 Hey, idiot, here's an idea: when the cops stop you, you don't start running.    Is it part of "African-American Culture 101" that you should be able to run from the cops, then start whining when they chase you?  You people are the reason that no civilized human being wants to live anywhere near you.

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @GimmeGalleon REALLY GOOD PLAN...WHY HAVE A "KNOWN CRACK HOUSE" AND NOT CLOSE IT DOWN IMMEDIATELY???

ErikDallas
ErikDallas

 @philmccr69 OMG!  They call that "being white"  They have their church leaders telling them they will never be anything because of the white man, and that they should do anything except "act white"   Until they stop listening to their peers which get rich off of stuff like this, things won't change.  Better get yourself a gun, cause they ain't gonna act white.  

tdogg
tdogg

Why don.t you get your racist-sexist-classist-xenophobic-homophobic-religously intolerant ass the fuck out of Dallas and don't look the fuck back??!!!! What the hell you waiting on?? You whitey mf's are never going to run this bitch again so get the hell out of here,CHUMP

robkuelbs
robkuelbs

@prestidigination @logic4dallas Somehow you left out what seemed to be the most important parts, the warrants and the resisting arrest, the fighting the officers.....


You're right, you didn't do anything in the wrong.  Jackass.

HaleyH1
HaleyH1

 @tdogg The "White Man" will always run the show.  I am assuming the man that signs your check at Safeway is a not a brother.  We will continue to make the money while you entertain us with your dance moves. 

DieByTheSword
DieByTheSword

 @tdogg

 lmfao! :-) look who is calling "racist"....btw...live by the sword, die by the sword. people who CHOOSE to run crack houses, break the law, carry weapons and become gang affiliated KNOW what they are getting themselves into.. you would have to be stupid to not know... I mean arent you claiming this type of thing happens all the time?  I mean really if I watch someone walking down the street fall in a hole and then I walk down the same street and fall in the same hole....doesnt that make me stupid? Just sayin

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @rufuslevin the father was there, and interviewed on 11.  But you've done a very effective job of exposing your prejudice.

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