Cops Barricade South Dallas Car Wash, Threaten Arrest If You Ask Too Many Questions

Categories: Schutze

Thumbnail image for barricade99.jpg
Jim Schutze
Police barricades block entrance to the Davenports' car wash, which the city wants to drive out of business.
Sunday I witnessed first-hand the Dallas Police Department's new technique to force the owners of that troubled car wash in South Dallas to sell or go out of business. You may know which car wash. The one City Hall hates.

See also: Dallas City Hall versus The Car Wash

Normally on Sunday afternoon Jim's Car Wash is one big neighborhood festival, jammed with people washing cars. When I got there Sunday afternoon the place was deserted.

Deserted, as you may remember, is what City Hall wants. As I have written here in the past, Mayor Mike Rawlings has been blunt in describing the car wash as a scary nuisance that frightens people driving down MLK Boulevard from the freeway during the state fair. He has been equally blunt in stating that he would like to see a change of ownership.

The mayor's problem is that the owners of the car wash, Freddy and Dale Davenport, don't want to sell. They say the city's efforts to force them to sell are official oppression inspired by political and commercial interests.

In 2005 and 2006 a state legislative investigative committee dug deep into the Davenport's allegations of official oppression and concluded they were right. At that time Dallas cops were parking squad cars all over the car wash lot, locking them and walking away as a means of shutting down the business.

What I saw Sunday, I guess, was the new police methodology for shutting down a private business. When I got there they had erected plastic barricades all the way around the car wash. A squad of four uniformed officers was across the street with two patrol cars, a police pickup and a trailer full of police dogs, which they never used while I was there. Occasionally one or two additional police vehicles joined them, apparently with supervisory personnel.

It had the desired effect. The car wash, of course, was dead. Only one or two brave souls straggled on through the sole entryway the cops had left half-open.

When I asked Sergeant E. Huerta to explain the operation, he threatened repeatedly to arrest me. He told me if I had questions I should call the chief of police, the City Council or the mayor. That's what I'm doing today.

Really, he and the officers with him were OK. They looked, if anything, pretty sheepish. They looked like good cops who had been ordered to do some dirty work. But dirty is the word. Down and dirty. Did you even know stuff like this went on in Dallas? Only on MLK, where they think nobody's watching.


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75 comments
everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Really, he and the officers with him were OK. They looked, if anything, pretty sheepish. They looked like good cops who had been ordered to do some dirty work.


And note that, like the good little fascist they are, they "followed orders" and assumed that the media would go to bat for them instead calling them the shitheels they were acting like. 

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

Let me tell you something; I have hung out at this place back in the day, and it awesome!  You would find more lunatics and drug addicts on any Saturday, at Lake Lewisville..........I was ALWAYS under the impression this was a "race thing", and that it was/is too close to Fair Park.  What's next, having a SWAT team hang out at Good Luck Burger!?  Sh+t man, the people that play soccer across the street from my house in Plano fill me with more fear, and my neighborhood with trash, than those folks at that carwash. 

cottonkandy_75215
cottonkandy_75215

The only reason they are trying to so that is because on the weekends we like to hang out and just chill. Everybody brings out their old school cars. They told us we couldn't be at Rochester park without a permit. So they moved to the car wash. They wouldn't go shut down something that the other people would have. Yea we have crackheads but they are everywhere.

gordonhilgers
gordonhilgers

That is just weird.  Either the police know something they don't want us to know or the police are more deeply embedded in politics than is normally acceptable.  Is Dallas turning into a Tammany political machine in which the Pinkertons go out and smash faces and twist arms to do the bidding of Boss Tweed?  I sure hope not. 

It would be far more entertaining for them to become minions of, say, the guy who ran that evil town in Clint Eastwood's "The Unforgiven".  More drama.  More blood.  More everything and maybe even Academy Awards. 

Probably some developer troll has eyes on the property.  That would explain EVERYTHING.  To think that people who shill real estate run an urban metroplex of seven million is beyond even the movie 28 Days Later.  Zombies and all. 

In the saner areas of America like San Francisco, the people are beginning to call them devil-opers. 

BettyC1
BettyC1

Sad situation and Mayor wants to cut DPD budget.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Dead link Jim.

Plz post good link to state audit.

doublecheese
doublecheese

Clearly if drug dealing were the problem here, supposedly in the open, the cops could shut that down pretty easily.  Since they choose not to do anything, it's obvious that drug dealing is not the problem.  The problem is that the drug dealing is being done where people can see it, showing that the police aren't doing their jobs.  If they can take it off a major street, they can continue to ignore it.


That is, if this has a damn thing to do with drugs at all.

shuney1
shuney1

It said on the weekends it is full of people wading and cleaning their cars and socializing . The fave ports have a business that makes a lot of money on washing cars and the Dallas police wants to shut them down because someone is making money . If that were my business I'd call a wrecker company and have all the cars towed off . If the police stops him from removing cars that are stopping his business from making money and if the cops start violence I would be calling the Texas Rangers not the baseball team but pice that makes city cops run like cowards. . If the place is selling drugs post one or two cops on site and it will stop simple as that . If they can have that many cop cars parking in the way then they can afford to post a few officers at the business . Stopping a man from making money at his is illegal . I would bring suit to the city of Dallas . This pathetic that the cops can do this and get away with it . Where's John Wiley Price bring him out there and watch the chickens cop scrap their little boy uniforms .

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

The two diffferent perspectives on this place (presented by Shutze & Robberson) are fascinating, and it is likely that neither view is 100% correct.

Robberson seems to think that first and foremost, this is a "Drug Market" disguised as a self-service car wash. Shutze seems to think that this is first and foremost an engine of economic relief for a population that is, for one reason or another, unemployable in the traditional sense.

Looking at the area, history, economic situation and demographics, common sense would dictate that it is probably a little bit of both. I have no illusions that there is NO DRUG ACTIVITY at this car wash. You would have to be a fool or an idiot to deny that aspect. That brings us around (once again) to our ridiculous "War on Drugs"

There is a solution for this: Fix the drug laws and this particular problem solves itself.

nuke
nuke

Jim,

I am surprised at your commentary on the car wash. This car wash has become an eyesore and public nuisance. There have been countless numbers of arrests, drug dealing and even murder. Who washes cars at midnight, 1am,2am,3am? Nobody! I am glad the DPD finally grew some "Gonads" and did something about this damn shameful eyesore! Carolyn Davis must have stopped receiving her payoffs from the drug dealers and sicked the dogs on em. Hey Jim, what time does the car wash close where you live?

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

I have to take someone to a doctor's appointment tomorrow and then I was going to take my truck to a car wash to give it a good scrubbing.  Now, I know to which one I'll take it.

carlwilliams
carlwilliams

jim maybe be the only writer in dallas worth a shit.

SD-DO
SD-DO

Most stories about S. Dallas being hood started at that carwash. 10+ years ago, officers wouldn't even approach with out backup & when they did - they were often 10 units deep. I can't blame the city for the way they feel but it's not cool his business under fire.


South Dallas is one of the most patrolled areas in the city, and as a result, dispersed most of the serious crime. Most real crime has moved from the nearby 300/m apartments to further up I-75 or down I-45. MLK may be a bit ratchet for some but now it's far more quiet than it used to be.

Gangy
Gangy

Is Rawlings doing this Chris Christie-esque behavior to get the land for the Olympic Village?

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

Speaking of reputable businesses, pak152, you've been strangely silent lately on the blessings of fracking. (That was you,wasn't it?) Did you lose that gig?

pak152
pak152

"There are some addle-brained folks out there who somehow think Jim’s Car Wash was a reputable business and a fine asset for South Dallas. It was not. It’s been a pernicious, perpetual eyesore that has dragged down business on MLK and frightened away outside visitors."
so Tod Robberson throws down the gauntlet
http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/2014/06/a-car-washdrug-emporium-closes-and-a-world-of-opportunity-opens.html/


i'm going to grab a big ol' bucket of poppity corn, a few cans of adult beverages and sit back and watch the fur fly.

noneedtoaggress
noneedtoaggress

@gordonhilgers Police are the tip of the politician's spear. They are always, and only can be, the tools of violence for politicians.

A legitimate security service would not threaten their "customers" with threats of violence to fund themselves.

A security racket would threaten their "customers" security in order to fund themselves, and will have little incentive to provide quality services.

pak152
pak152

@gordonhilgers only thing is this has been going on for at least a decade. if a developer wanted it he would have found a way by now


everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@BettyC1 If they have time to stand around and harass car washes, it sounds like the budget is too big.

BenS.
BenS.

@ozonelarryb 


Of course the car wash is still open. As I mentioned earlier in the comments, the sawhorses are put out on Sundays by the police to curb the cruising problem. Not just at that carwash but at other businesses up and down the street and vacant lots. It has been this way since at least 2012. The police bring out their toys and strut around some to keep everything from getting out of control. The Dallas Morning News story is weird. It does not make any sense and has me scratching my head at the content.

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@TheCredibleHulk So if there is drug activity and the property owner is not actively involved who is responsible to eliminate it?  If drug dealers are trespassing should not the police be responsible and not the property owner?

NightSand
NightSand

@nuke It's self service, so it doesn't close.  If there had been countless numbers of arrests, why wouldn't they just seize it?  Apparently you don't know what you are talking about.  

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@bvckvs

Don't forget the crack, it's a closing sale.

RobertStinson
RobertStinson

Interesting comment, Gangy. No, he's not, but you will see this behavior in Fair Park if that stupid Olympic idea takes root. That would e one of the greatest speculative land grabs since Trinity Tollway bond vote.

pak152
pak152

@bmarvel hey bill check what i posted to TxSharon earlier today. 


'Did you lose that gig?" ah yes nothing like calling someone a shill by innuendo. as for losing the gig nope still a supporter of hydraulic fracturing. don't expect to convert you, just providing a counterbalance to the stories. here. have a nice day

jswilson64
jswilson64

@pak152 "Frightened away outside visitors" 

I love that. I know for sure when my in-laws come to Dallas from Michigan, the corner of Myrtle and MLK is right where they would head, if it weren't for that frightening car wash.


TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@pak152 @gordonhilgers

Nah, those guys know how to play the long game - the "visions" for areas like these have been around for decades just waiting for the right dominoes to line up. They also know that most of the people they are dealing with can't afford to have such long term "vision" when they are living hand-to-mouth.

That's why the Davenports piss them off so royally - they've got "vision", too, and they aren't living hand-to-mouth and therefore, cannot be cheaply purchased or easily dispatched.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

No 'of course' about it. The Robberson column left the impression it was closed. There was ambiguity here too.

Thank you for your interest, Ben.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@WhiteWhale @TheCredibleHulk

I'll give a qualified "yes" to that question. Illegal activity on this site should not be tolerated by the owners or the police.

Qualifier being that the "War on Drugs" is a ridiculous waste of money and resources.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@pak152 @bmarvel pak152 -- I went to considerable trouble yesterday to Google Terry Engelder. I recommend those who are interested in this issue do the same, with special attention to those fracking-friendly agencies and the oil and gas companies who have bought and paid for his research lover the yeards.

If you want to find oil and gas, Terry's your man. If you want to know what that finding and extraction does to the environment, Terry's the last man to ask. He's a petroleum geologist, not an environmental scientist.   

As for "innuendo," pak152, no innuendo intended. I believe that you are connected to the energy industry in some way. I just don't know how. But I'm working on your case.

pak152
pak152

@DonkeyHotay @bmarvel nope actually i'm in favor of ending the cartels and letting anyone who wants to drive a cab enter the business.

pak152
pak152

@dfw_maverick 

me too. Robberson and Bush are saying it is a hellhole and is responsible for dragging down the neighborhood. JimS says it is business being harassed by the city on purpose
i'm surprised the city hasn't seized it like some cities have done elsewhere. eg there was a motel up in Massachusetts(?) that IIRC was seized by the government because prostitution and drug dealing were taking place there. like the carwash owner the motel owners tried everything to get rid of the bad folks
yup here it is
"During a November trial before a U.S. magistrate judge in Boston, a federal prosecutor cited one heroin overdose and 14 incidents in which guests or visitors were arrested for drug crimes at the motel from 1994 through 2008—a minuscule percentage of the 200,000 or so room rentals during that period—to show the business is a “dangerous property” ripe for seizure. As Russell Caswell, the motel’s 69-year-old owner, explained to the Associated Press, “They are holding me responsible for the actions of a few people who I don’t know and I’ve never met before, people who rent a room.”"
http://reason.com/archives/2013/01/28/drug-dealing-and-legal-stealing
"Tewksbury Motel Owner Fights Move By Government To Seize Property"

http://www.wbur.org/2012/11/14/tewksbury-motel-owner-fights-property-seizure
"U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith Dein said the federal government "had not met its burden of proving a substantial connection between the Motel Caswell and the forfeitable crimes, and, therefore, has not met its burden of proving that the Property is forfeitable."

The judge added that the motel's proprietor, Russell Caswell, of Tewksbury, Mass., did meet his "burden of proving the innocent owner defense.""

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323539804578264242356172154

pak152
pak152

@bmarvel @pak152 ruh-roh billym's on my case better run and hide.

bill my point is that both sides of the issue need to be presented. you're more than  welcome to call me a shill. i'm in now way connected with the oil and gas industry but it is currently the engine of our economy. they are not as evil as you, TxSharon and the others alleged.
as for comparing a petroleum geologist to an "environmental" scientist you're comparing apples to oranges. who knows more about what comes out of the ground  and what it is composed of?
as for googling up Terry Engelder, don't understand how the could be so much trouble unless you are still accessing the internet via a dial up. in less than 5 seconds i came up with this
https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#newwindow=1&q=terry+engelder
if you're having problems searching on the internet I'll be glad to help you.

dfw_maverick
dfw_maverick

@pak152 @dfw_maverick  I hope this doesn't mean that JS can't defend his position now, I tend to believe him on most of his stories, but this requires a response

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@pak152 @bmarvel The question  is not what comes out of the ground, pak. It's at what cost to the environment it comes out of the ground. 

That's not just the cost of exploration, drilling and infrastructure. That's the cost to groundwater, breathable air, future medical bills, quake damage, reduced quality of life, added wear and tear to roads. These are the costs that never appear in the glossy annual reports issued by the industry.

The apples-to-oranges problem is your, not mine. You seem to think a petroleum geologist is the person to send to assess environmental damage from drilling. (Love the quotes you put around "environmental," pak.) That's like sending a biologist and a water chemist to look for oil. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@pak152 ... I am a cunning linguist.


... at least that's what she said.



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