Dallas Police Foot Pursuit Policy, Tightened After 2012 Shooting, To Be Loosened Back Up

Categories: Public Safety

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Dallas Police Department
After James Harper, an unarmed kidnapping suspect, was killed by a police officer in July 2012, police Chief David Brown committed to reforming the way his department would chase suspects on foot. Brian Rowden, the officer who shot Harper, had ended up chasing Harper alone after Harper and three other suspects in the kidnapping scattered in different directions. Exhausted, Rowden ended up in a fight with Harper, during which, the officer said, Harper threatened his life. Rowden said Harper reached his pocket, for what Rowden thought was a gun, so Rowden shot Harper twice. Harper did not have a gun.

Changes to the policy made after Harper's death included officers being directed to chase only one suspect should multiple suspects head in different directions, for officers to stop pursuit if they became too exhausted to arrest a suspect after the suspect was caught and for officers not to chase a known suspect. If officers knew the suspects identity, he or she could easily be caught later, the thinking went. Monday afternoon, Brown will notify the City Council's public safety committee of DPD's rolling back some of the changes.

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Dallas Police Toughen Charges Against French Defense Contractor Accused of Punching Cyclists

A photo of Sebastien Blain from his Google Plus profile, which has since been deleted.

In late December, two cyclists with heavy bruising on their faces said they had been punched by a random, angry motorist driving behind them on Turtle Creek Boulevard. Despite the serious accusations, the Dallas police who came to the scene that night didn't appear to try too hard to get to the bottom of what happened. Instead, they gave both the driver and one of the cyclists each a ticket for a class C misdemeanor assault, a low-level charge handled in municipal court. Then they let the driver go without a sobriety test.

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Dallas Set to Approve $200K Payout for Unarmed Man Shot by Cops in 2012

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Dallas County
Donnell Collins, not Randolph Glenn
Randolph Glenn is about to get at least a little of what he deserves for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Glenn was shot by Dallas Police Officer Bunthavuth Te after failing to remove his hands from his pockets while Te and other officers looked for Donnell Charles Collins, who'd allegedly just committed a robbery and carjacking.

On February 2, 2012, Dallas police responded to a report of two armed robberies on Grand Avenue in East Dallas. After flagging police down, one of the victims pointed the cops to a blue van down the street that was being carjacked by Collins. Officers Thomas Hughes and Joshua Shipp approached the vehicle, and when they asked Collins to show his hands, the cops said he reached for a black object they thought was gun (it was a BB gun). As Shipp tried to get the owner of the van out of the vehicle, Collins hit the gas, according to police records.

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Sparked Floor Liner or Gas Likely Caused Fatal Thanksgiving Tower Fire, Fire Department Says

Categories: Public Safety

Dallas Office of Emergency Management
Firefighters at Thanksgiving Tower December 11.
Just over a month after a fire at Thanksgiving Tower killed three men working on the downtown building's HVAC system, Dallas Fire and Rescue gave the most definitive answer yet as to what caused the blaze.

Oscar Esparza-Romo, Luis Carrillo-Solorzano and Nicacio Carrillo-Martinez, were working in underground tanks when the fire started. The four tanks, which hold 360,000 gallons of water each, were emptied so the crew could do their work. Dallas Fire and Rescue believes that a cutting torch they were using caused either the plastic liner of the tanks or an "unknown gas" to ignite.

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Cold War Kids: Quakes Make Irving ISD Bring Back Duck and Cover

Categories: Public Safety

Irving ISD via Youtube
The first step we should all take during the next earthquake.
In response to the spate of earthquakes shaking their city, Irving ISD conducted an actual earthquake drill on Wednesday in attempt to prepare students for the worst.

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Amid Calls for His Resignation, Dallas Police Association's Ron Pinkston Sticks to His Guns

Categories: Public Safety

KDFW via Youtube
Ron Pinkston
Ron Pinkston -- president of Dallas' largest police officers' union, the Dallas Police Association -- is not going to resign. He says so, and Stephen Benavides admits as much. Benavides and the group he often represents, Dallas Communities Organizing for Change, called for Pinkston to quit after he blamed protesters for the shooting deaths of two New York City police officers.

"The people marching in these protests that are calling for killing of officers or the politicians who are slanting against the police, they have blood on their hands," Pinkston says.

Benavides believes Pinkston's comments, in addition to placing blame in the wrong place, put civilians and officers alike at risk.

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After NYC Killings, Dallas Police Association Fears "Ambush"

Categories: Public Safety

Dallas Police Association
Ron Pinkston and the Dallas Police Association are on high alert following the killing of two New York Police Department officers in Brooklyn on Saturday. Over the weekend, the association's Twitter account quickly joined what's been a frenzied attack by conservative media and law enforcement officials on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The association accused Al Sharpton of instigating the shootings in New York and hopped on the "blue lives matter" hashtag.

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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.

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