AG William Barr Comes to Dallas to Tout Feds' Crime-fighting Initiative, But It's Locals to the Rescue

The last person I expected to see sitting with U.S. Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Senator John Cornyn and other federal crime-fighters and City Council members at a confab about Northeast Dallas crime was an old friend, Jason Roberts. First met him when he played in the band The Happy Bullets. Got better acquainted when the Oak Cliff-dweller embarked on his celebrated, TED-talking career,teaching cities how to reclaim their streets and neighborhoods from cars and crime.Roberts' name wasn't on the list of attendees dispatched by the U.S. Attorney's Office earlier this week, when media were informed that U.S. Attorney Erin Neely Cox was bringing Barr and Cornyn to the North Lake Highlands Youth Boxing Gym at Forest Lane and Audelia Road — a crossroads of violence since anyone can remember. Turns out, though, Roberts was the centerpiece of the event meant to spotlight the feds' Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative about which my colleague Sharon Grigsby has written extensively over the last year.You see, it's one thing to swamp a neighborhood with crime-fighters — the local cops, state troopers, federal agents who descended on this bloody part of town in the last year. It works, yes. For a bit, absolutely. Again and again, the media were told Wednesday afternoon, violent crime has dropped 3% in the last year. Dozens of guns have been taken off the streets. About 200 felony arrests have been made.No surprise. There's a reason gang members used to call this part of town "Northghanistan." Maybe they still do.  Continue reading...

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