90-degree weather didn’t stop protesters from gathering again Thursday in Dallas. This time, much of their attention was on the Dallas Police Association, the organization that represents officers in various matters.
While protesters gathered outside the building, DPA President Mike Mata came out to address their concerns. Many asked for more accountability from within the department.
Protesters asked Mata about ensuring police reprimand and report each other when one has done something wrong.
“That’s where I have failed you as a community,” said Mike Mata. “Because after my arrest is done, after I have finished taking them to jail, when I get back to the sally port and I see that individual, I have failed you because I did not grab that person, pull them to the side and say ‘man that isn’t going fly anymore.’”
Organizer Shenita Cleveland said protesters must apply pressure to the organization in order to see change.
“We have some suggestions on what they need to do to make sure that police brutality comes to an end at some point and it’s through the policies,” said organizer Shenita Cleveland.
Cleveland said she wants to see action sooner rather than later.
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“It’s time to do the right thing. He already admitted it. He said ‘yes, we have police officers that do wrong,’” said Cleveland. “We’re just asking you to swiftly give them justice like you do us.”
Mata listened and answered protester's questions for nearly half an hour. Afterward, he spoke with reporters and answered questions concerning racism within the department.
“They want to get rid of racism 100%. And I want to get rid of as much of it as I possibly can,” said Mata. But God made us flawed human beings. We have to do everything we can to get rid of it. And when we see it in an officer, we have to get rid of that. And I wanted to come down here and give them my word that I would do everything I can.”
Protesters then marched to Dallas City Hall where they joined a larger group to speak against police brutality and other injustices faced by black people. The protest and march remained peaceful.