Slashing Prices at Wal-Mart Gets You Savings. Slashing Cop Gets You Shot.

Google Street View
The Wal-Mart in question, at 6185 Retail Road in Dallas.
Just after midnight Tuesday morning, Dallas police officer Larry Moody shot Jonathan Puckett. It was the 20th time Dallas cops have shot at a civilian so far this year. Puckett was hit in the leg and torso and is being treated for his injuries at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

Puckett was spotted by Moody -- who was working an off-duty security job -- and a Wal-Mart loss prevention officer attempting to leave the Retail Road store without paying for a phone charger. After initially cooperating and walking back into the store, Dallas police say, Puckett dashed for the exit. Moody grabbed his shoulder and they both lost their balance. As they struggled on the ground, police say, Puckett cut Moody with one of the four knives he was carrying.

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Fired Deep Ellum Cop Jesus Martinez Gets Outpouring of Support at Council Meeting

Scott Griggs via Facebook
View of Martinez's supporters from the council horseshoe.
On paper -- and video -- firing Jesus Martinez was a straightforward call for Dallas Police Chief David Brown. Martinez was filmed "using his right knee to pin the pedestrian's right elbow down while raising the pedestrian's left elbow and hand upward causing him severe pain," according to the police department. The video, shot in June and lasting about three-and-a-half minutes, doesn't show the beginning of the incident, but Martinez said when he tried to arrest Joe Wesson for aggressive panhandling, Wesson took a swing at him. During the fight that followed, Martinez pepper sprayed Wesson and ended up with some of the spray in his own eyes, he said.

Witnesses to the arrest contradicted what Martinez said, saying there was no fight, and the officer was fired by the department for using "unnecessary and/or inappropriate force against a citizen."

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Eric Garner Protest Peaceful; Dallas Police Keep Marchers off I-35 This Time

Categories: Public Safety

Stephen Young
Protesters march down Commerce Street Thursday night.
For the second week in a row, demonstrators took to Dallas streets to protest an out-of-state grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer for killing an unarmed black man. Unlike last week, Dallas police blocked off access to Interstate 35 and kept demonstrators from closing the freeway.

Thursday's protest was against a Staten Island grand jury's decision not to indict New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo for choking Eric Garner to death. Pantaleo killed the 43-year-old Garner while arresting him for selling loose cigarettes.

Last week's protest, in which demonstrators temporarily shut down I-35, concerned a a St. Louis grand jury vote not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Mike Brown.

Thursday's march began at Dallas Police Headquarters on Lamar Street and included about 250 people at its largest. They wended their way through downtown from the Cedars, eventually getting as far as the American Airlines Center before turning around and heading back through downtown. Cops blocked downtown entrances to the freeway throughout. At about 9:25 p.m., police shut down the roadway as a precaution, but it was reopened less than 15 minutes later.

Despite interactions between protesters and cops being overwhelmingly peaceful, the Dallas Police Department made five arrests for obstructing a passageway of highway, a Class B misdemeanor punishable with a maximum fine of $2,000 and as much as six months in jail.

A Cop Watcher Was Almost Killed by a Drunk Driver After Surveilling a DWI Checkpoint

Categories: Public Safety

Dylan Hollingsworth
Cop-watcher Kory Watkins squats and films a traffic stop in Arlington. Is this interfering?
You can't make this stuff up. Early on the morning of November 25, Kory Watkins, cop-watcher extraordinaire and face of Open Carry Tarrant County, says he was hit by a drunk driver on his way home from a cop watch. The watch's target? A DWI checkpoint.

In Watkins own words (via Facebook):

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Dallas Teen Shot By "Reckless" Dallas Police Officer Now Seeking More Than $10 Million

Categories: Public Safety

Dallas PD, via WFAA
Senior corporal Amy Wilbur
Kelvion Walker, the 20-year-old Dallas man shot by police officer Amy Wilburn as he sat in a car with his hands up in December 2013, has amended his federal lawsuit to claim higher damages against Wilburn after Dallas Police Department brass criticized Wilburn in depositions last week.

As Sky Chadde reported for Unfair Park, both police chief David Brown and assistant police chief Tom Lawrence called Wilburn's actions reckless and said that she did not follow proper procedure when she rushed the car Walker was sitting in, despite believing incorrectly that he was armed.

See also: Dallas Police Department Brass Calls a Police Shooting "Reckless"

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Dallas Cop Shooting Database Is Sobering, Fascinating

Categories: Public Safety

Dallas Police Department
In late October, Dallas police chief David Brown promised the public that his department would make data from the last 12 years of Dallas police officers shooting people readily available. On Tuesday, just as everyone was checking out for Thanksgiving, Brown made good on his promise. The department has posted the names of the officers involved, the person the officers shot or shot at, the weapons involved -- if any -- and the grand jury's decision with regard to the officer or officers involved.

If you care about the way Dallas is policed, and the way those doing the policing use force, it's really easy to lose track of time digging through everything. Even if that's not your thing, there are a few things from the data that are really striking.

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One of the Ferguson Protesters Was Arrested for Something Called a "Sidewalk Use Violation." What's That?

Categories: Public Safety

Jana Jackson
Protesters march down Main Street downtown Tuesday night.
Until the very end, Tuesday night's demonstration in Dallas against the grand jury's decision in the Ferguson case was uneventful. Marchers congregated at Dallas Police Department headquarters in the Cedars then walked through downtown to protest the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson for killing unarmed teenager Mike Brown.

"Tonight I'm somewhat numb, but I'm also saddened," Michael Bowie Jr., new senior pastor of St. Luke Community United Methodist Church in Dallas told The Dallas Morning News at the protest. "First it was Trayvon [Martin], now it's Michael Brown. And it's sad that killing of black males is justified and legal."

At about 9:15 p.m., however, as the protest wound down, a small group stopped traffic on Interstate 35E near downtown, shutting down the freeway until police came to clear the roadway, which was reopened by about 11 p.m..

No one was injured, but KXAS reported that many protesters were almost struck by motorists before the freeway was shut down.

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If You Have a Security Camera, You Should Change Your Default Password. Now.

Categories: Public Safety

securitycamss.JPG Screenshot
There are 40 more pages of Dallas-based cameras.
Insecam is a super-creepy Moscow-based website that is currently streaming footage from 73,000 unsecured IP cameras. The site says it's doing it to promote security -- it is able to access the cameras because their owners never changed their default password -- but clearly has revenue-generating ads.

There are feeds from every state, multiple foreign countries and, as you can see from pages 408 to 449 of the United States section, 243 from Dallas.

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Dallas Councilman Tennell Atkins Helped His Son Launch an Unlicensed Private Security Company

Patrick Michels
Dallas City Councilman Tennell Atkins
During a seven-year law enforcement career as a Dallas County deputy constable and Dallas City marshal, Tyler Atkins says he protected the public from fake security guards.

"I used to take people to jail who used to run security companies without a license," he says.

But for the past several months, it appears that Atkins, the 32-year-old son of Dallas City Council member Tennell Atkins, was doing just that. His company, Dallas Shield Inc., has been providing security guards for University General Hospital in Oak Cliff for the past several months, despite lacking the proper license from the Texas Department of Public Safety's Private Security Bureau. The company has applied for a license, but its application is listed as "incomplete" by DPS. According to the department, companies with incomplete licenses cannot legally operate.

Under state law, operating a security company without a license is a class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

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Few of Dallas' Cops Live in the City, and Chief Brown Says They Should Know More about It

Categories: Public Safety

Can Turkyilmaz
Police Chief David Brown asked the community to help him create programs to teach officers the history of Dallas.
At the latest town hall meeting held by District Attorney Craig Watkins, Dallas Police Chief David Brown, speaking to a primarily black crowd, said a program to educate young officers about the police department's history with the city was in the works. He seemed to think it was badly needed.

"I'm a fourth-generation Dallasite," Brown said, "so I know a lot about Dallas that I just don't believe our young cops that patrol your neighborhoods know. Many cops don't know anything about Santos Rodriguez, even though everybody from Dallas knows about Santos Rodriguez."

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