Dallas Police Chief Reneé Hall has put a new rule on the force’s policy books making it “the duty of every employee” who witnesses the use of physical force “being inappropriately applied” or used longer than necessary “to either stop, or attempt to stop” the action in question.
A statement released Thursday by the Dallas Police said the new “Duty to Intervene” order was implemented by Chief Hall, “to create a culture where what happened to Mr. [George] Floyd does not happen again.”
“Millions watched a Minneapolis police officer suffocate Mr. George Floyd to death by applying pressure with his knee on the victim’s neck for nearly 9 minutes. His fellow co-workers either assisted or stood by and watched Mr. Floyd take his last breath. Had the officer’s partners intervened, the outcome might have been different,” the police said in the statement.
The officer who pushed his knee into Floyd’s back and neck was fired and has been charged with second and third degree murder. Three of his fellow officers who were at the scene during the encounter in Minneapolis — all of whom have also been fired — are facing charges of aiding and abetting the crime.
Dallas Police have also come under scrutiny during more than a week of consistent protests sparked by Floyd’s death.
Brandon Saenz, a 26-year-old man who joined a crowd protesting police brutality in Dallas on Saturday has said he became a victim of it.
“All I heard was a boom. I got hit,” Saenz said. “I put my hands up, and I put my hand on my eye, and then I took off running.”
He said he did nothing to provoke being shot with a non-lethal sponge round, but as a result, attorneys said he lost his left eye, CBS Dallas-Fort Worth reported.
“It is ironic that a protest about excessive use of force and police brutality ends with excessive use of force and police brutality,” said Jesuorobo Enobakhare, who chairs the Dallas Police Oversight Board.
Protesters have called for the Police Oversight Board to resume regular meetings that stopped during the coronavirus shutdowns. Next week it will.
On its agenda will be votes on whether to investigate how the Dallas Police Department handles protests, as well as an incident that happened Monday night when hundreds of protesters walked onto the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.
CBS DFW said it heard bangs and saw smoke, and saw a protester being carried away. “She was flash-banged by police officers for walking peacefully,” said the person helping her from the scene.
Dallas Police Oversight monitor Tonya McClary, who reports to the board, said her office had seen a surge in complaints this week.
“Our voicemail is almost full. We’re still going through emails. What we’ve been able to get through right now is about 100,” she said.
Some cases, like Saenz’s, have been fast-tracked and are already under investigation.
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