Dallas County DA Wants Special Unit to Investigate Officer Shootings

Dallas County DA holds town hall meeting on new independent investigating unit

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins is trying to regain the public's trust regarding police-involved shootings in the county by creating an independent unit that will investigate the cases.

"What I'm saying is we need to restore the public's trust," said Watkins.

The DA held a town hall meeting Monday night at Saint Paul Methodist Church in Dallas.

Many residents are upset about how the Dallas Police Department and DA have handled previous police involved shooting cases.

David Harrison's brother, Jason, was shot and killed two months ago.

"My brother's shooting was the first one when the camera [officer body camera] was used and that was for transparency for us as citizens," said Harrison. "But it's like two-and-a-half months and we haven't got a 911 tape. We haven't seen the cameras. There's only speculation."

"Because this case is still under investigation, we are still gathering information about this case," Dallas Police Chief David Brown said in response to Harrison. "We have not released the video at this time. We do plan on at some point releasing the video."

Brown, along with Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, support Watkin's initiative. But the Dallas Police Association would like to see the $200,000 needed to fund the program used elsewhere.

The police association presented several proposals to increase transparency including equipping all Dallas police officers with body cameras immediately. They would also like to see two assistant district attorneys within the Dallas Police Department's Special Investigative Unit to assist on reviews of all officer-involved shootings and an investigative position for the FBI would also be made available on the SIU.

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