Dallas Police Critics Hold Conference to Address Alleged Department Misconduct

Critics of the Dallas Police Department want answers about alleged cover-ups in police misconduct investigations.

Members of the community, ranging from civil rights leaders and local attorneys to military members, held a news conference Thursday about the continued department misconduct.

The group specifically addressed recent officer-involved shootings.

"We’re going to file a complaint against the Dallas Police Department as well as the internal affairs division,” said Rev. Ronald Wright of Justice Seekers Texas.

Wright’s criticism comes after the city of Dallas paid a $900,000 settlement to the family of Tobias Mackey.

Mackey was shot to death in 2010 by then Dallas police officer Matthew Tate during a police sweep of a crime-ridden apartment.

Mackey had committed no crime and was unarmed when he was shot nine times.

Attorney Susan Hutchinson represented the Mackey family. She said Tate’s supervisor witnessed the shooting and testified that Mackey’s death was not justified and that he posed no threat.

"Because of that deposition and because of his statements, they are now investigating him,” said Hutchinson, referring to the Dallas Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division. “I think it’s absolutely retaliatory. If you violate the unwritten code and say something against your fellow officer you are going to be the target,” said Hutchinson.

Since 2002, Justice Seekers Texas estimates there have been 68 officer-involved shootings in Dallas that resulted in paid settlements of about $7 million. Two current pending cases have resulted in officers' criminal indictments for shooting unarmed citizens.

Wright said he also wants to see mandatory random drug tests for officers. He believes that steroid use is occurring within the rank and file of Dallas police patrol and that the hormones can impact decision-making in critical calls.

The Dallas Police Department did not offer any comment on the calls for federal oversight.  

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