Protesters in Dallas held a March for Unity from Deep Ellum to Fair Park Sunday evening.
The group walked from Deep Ellum to the intersection of Malcolm X Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard, where they stopped and took a knee. The group then continued to Fair Park, where speakers called for sustained changes to policing in Dallas.
District 7 city council member Adam Bazaldua said he wanted to see less taxpayer investment in police and more in quality of life programs, especially in majority minority districts in Dallas.
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“If we have 60% of our budget allocated to public safety, that means 40% is left among all other services,” Bazaldua said.
Bazaldua said he wanted to see budget talks include the idea of reparations – in the form of social-economic resources, quality healthcare and access to quality groceries.
“The divestment doesn’t mean that we need to lay off all of our officers or that a police presence isn’t needed,” Bazaldua said. “It’s that the police strategy and the approach we are taking is not working.”
Chanda Moss joined the protest with her 16-year-old son and 15-year-old cousin. She said she wanted them to be part of history.
“It’s not just going to be black people that make the difference, it’s going to be everybody working together,” Moss said.
Her son, Corey Moss, explained why the protest was personal.
“When I get started in life, I don’t want to go through all of that work and then get shot by somebody who sees me as nothing remotely human,” Moss said.
Moss also said he feared the momentum of the social justice movement could slow – pointing to the shift he sees in his social media feed.
“People are treating it like it’s a trend and they’re going back to business as usual, like nothing happened,” he said.
“We’ve got to take it further,” protester Shannon Fitzgerald said. “There’s no question if people don’t get out and vote in November, we’ll never bring about change.”
Fitzgerald attended the protest and helped around 15 people register to vote through the League of Women Voters.
“We can’t continue the way we’re continuing,” she said.