On Tuesday, the Dallas Police Oversight Board met remotely for the first time since March. The community spread of COVID-19 temporarily halted the board’s meetings.
Members are returning amid national tensions between police and civilians over the death of George Floyd.
Board members heard from the community concerning police tactics used on protesters over the last 10 days. Board and community members were particularly troubled by the events that unfolded atop the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge last Monday night.
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Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall later joined the call remotely and said the goal that night was to provide a safe route, clear streets and to allow protesters to assemble peacefully. Halls said when that night is reviewed in its entirety, if she discovers mistakes were made, she will admit to wrongdoing. Hall said she’s conducting a review into the events that night and plans to present her findings to the board within a week.
A handful of motions passed Tuesday night. The board passed a motion allowing the new Dallas Police Monitor Tonya McClary independent and unfettered access to data within the Dallas Police Department. This motion was in response to McClary claiming she did not have unrestricted access, and that it had become a challenge in performing her job.
The board also passed motions allowing the monitor to perform a full review of the Dallas Police Department’s use of force policy, and a review of the department’s protest policy.
McClary said she is in the process of gathering information from protesters about their experiences and police encounters and hopes to turn that testimony into some kind of policy recommendation.