DALLAS — Law enforcement from all around the world showed up in South Dallas Saturday for the National Black Police Association Town Hall Meeting.
“Part of community policing is open dialogue, open communication,” said Black Police Assoc. of Greater Dallas President Thomas Glover. “And in this meeting, there are no holes barred. We’re taking off the gloves and everybody will talk and speak freely.”
And the gloves definitely came off…
“When you see us, you run from us,” a Dallas PD officer said. “When you want something, you may come to us, but you’ll come to us in the wrong way screaming and hollering at us.”
That’s when local Cydney Walker fired back, “Challenges that we have with police officers even responding to our calls, being judgmental with anybody who calls, especially if it’s domestic violence. We have challenges with seeing you in the community and feeling like you’re not really there to be unbiased and listen to both sides of what happened.”
“Being an African-American officer, it’s a struggle,” said Lt. Derek Barnes with the Minneapolis Police Department. “We’re caught in the middle. The struggle is black while being blue, and a lot of us, me in particular, I have joined the police department 27 years ago in order to affect a change.”
This meeting comes on the heels of recent claims of discrimination in Texas, and across the country — including Missouri where the NAACP recently issued a “Driving While Black” travel advisory.
“Are there people in this profession who shouldn’t be the police and should just the call the police? Absolutely,” explained Undersheriff Booker Hodges of Minnesota. “But it’s our job in law enforcement to get these people out of the profession… but that is nowhere near the majority of people in this profession.”
The bottom line?
“The police department is accountable,” Glover said. “And we are serving them at our best, and they need to know that we’re apart of them and whatever the problem is, we’re there.”