Dallas 2019 Murder Total Reaches 103, Town Hall Planned Saturday

The surge in Dallas killing this year reached 103 on Friday with four more murders since Thursday morning.

Neighbors in Oak Cliff were on edge around lunch time when officers closed streets and the SWAT team moved in to seal off a neighborhood near 12th and Polk to arrest a suspect.

Jasmine Servin works at a business right next to the place police were watching.

"I was just like minding my business and working, and I turned around and see all these cops here, so I was like, what's going on," she said.

The woman said police told her to lock the doors as they made the arrest.

Dallas Police said the suspect, identified as Leo Ted Pintor, was wanted for a double murder at the Coronado Apartments in the 7400 block of East Grand Avenue around 3 a.m. Friday morning. Pintor is currently in the Dallas County Jail and charged with Capital Murder.

Many of the victims in they year's murders have been Latino residents.

Long time Dallas Latino leader Rene Martinez said Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall has not built a strong enough relationship with the Latino community in her two years since coming from Detroit.

"The learning curve is over. Hopefully she's going to reach out to us to begin that dialog, to talk about crime, to talk about our community. A lot of us as I have said, and think that she does not know much about the Latino Community. The demographics of Dallas compared to Detroit are totally different," Martinez said.

The Dallas Chapter of the National Latino Law Enforcement Organization recently called for Hall's replacement. Martinez stopped short of calling for Hall's replacement but said he hopes to see changes.

"There's got to be a plan. There's got to be a strategy. The whole issue, community policing sounds good, but we need to be able to give her some input," Martinez said.

Other groups and many other Dallas leaders have come to Hall's defense.

Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax who hires and fires the police chief said Hall will stay as long as he is City Manager.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson just took office on Monday. Friday Johnson said city officials are focused on confronting the current crime problem.

"We are working with various levels of law enforcement to make sure that we address that situation. So I can assure you that there is no one that doesn't take that seriously, from the Police Chief, the City Manager, Members of City Council, myself. It's a serious situation but it's something that we're going to address and we're going to get it under control," Johnson said.

The Dallas Police Force is around 700 officers smaller than it was in 2011.

"We have to understand that they are really short staffed and that's the reason that everything is going on," neighbor Jasmine Servin said.

Martinez disagreed.

"It's not an excuse, it's a challenge," he said. "Get Puerto Rican candidates from Puerto Rico, from Florida. They're bi-lingual. They're US Citizens. That's just one idea."

Martinez was more confident about the new Mayor's ability to confront the crime problem.

"He's a smart man. He knows what's going on. I've known Mayor Johnson for 10 years. Don't underestimate him. He grew up in West Dallas, He's knowledgeable and he's on top of it," Martinez said.

Police issued a statement seeking public help in solving cases.

Saturday, community members, pastors, Dallas County Sheriff Marion Brown and Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall will gather for a community forum hosted by state senator Royce West.

The "Dialogue for a Safer Dallas" Town Hall is Saturday from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at the UNT Systems Building at 1901 Main Street in Dallas.

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