Jason Harrison’s death was justified
April 27, 2015 § 2 Comments
Lady justice and the city officials agree
Last week, the nation’s focus was on the new Attorney General nomination of Loretta Lynch, the country’s first Black woman in the position. Another event, closer to home, that occurred last week was the grand jury’s decision to not indict the two officers who killed Jason Harrison in June of last year. Prior to the grand jury decision, DPD’s internal investigation also decided the officers’ actions were warranted and within policy–the answer to my question two weeks ago.
Now that the proceedings and investigations are complete, public officials like Chief Brown, who earlier said the officer’s statement corroborated with the video, Mayor Rawlings, who also said he’ll remain silent until the grand jury concludes, and the newly-elected DA Hawk, can comment on the case. This incident is the state’s first officer involved shooting caught on body camera and the city is quiet.
Mute politicians, an odd occurrence indeed.
Upon second thought, perhaps it isn’t odd at all. All three could be silent because they see no issue with the officers’ handling of the case. Or they are in cahoots, something not abnormal for a District Attorney, Police Chief and Mayor. Politics–the art of quid pro quo–is a team sport, people.
Harrison’s case is a good study to improve policy when responding to a mental disturbance case, the Use of Deadly Force Policy, officer’s guide of when to use deadly force (believe or not, a guide exists, and the internal affairs investigation. If the reader can recall, Bobby Bennett was another mentally ill man killed by DPD last year. Fortunately, the neighbor’s camera caught that encounter. That officer, Cardan Spencer, was terminated and indicted for aggravated assault.
Dallas, the southern city it is, has a way of being slow–or controlled. Real slow. Slower than we walk and talk. That’s the stereotype anyway. While Baltimore displayed and expressed their emotions that same Friday over Freddie Gray, and still are currently at this moment, Dallas had no reaction to another mentally ill man killed on camera and the grand jury’s no bill decision. Friday, the 24th, that stereotype was nowhere to be found when a group of about 15 people crowded outside of Hawk’s former home Friday evening. A CBS 11 reporter was present and the neighbors stood outside, also, anticipating what would happen next. We were pissed. Anything could have happened. Another station was there too.
Sean Harrison, brother of Jason, was there and said he felt deceived by the city and jury’s decision. Such behavior, he said, wasn’t new to the country or city, and that “nothing is the new N word” for Black people. Here is the interview. It’s worth the watch.
Thursday was a beautiful day. Dallas’ weather is fickle; Friday the skies were gray, a reflection of the initial reaction to the news. A somber day, sun peaking through the clouds, like lady justice peaking around her blindfolds.
Dallas is going through Accommodation 2.0, the old-new phase of White privilege, Black public official silence, and business as usual resource shifting. Except the question here is not desegregation or where to place the Negros. Still a lot of money is at stake, the Trinity River is still the center of conversation, and Blacks are an afterthought, an issue to be dealt with, a thorn in the side to be removed by the so-called Black leaders and officials. Last Tuesday on the same day and time as “Police Brutality and Your Vote” event in East Dallas, three days before Harrison’s killers were no billed, Big D Reads hosted “Dallas’ Gritty History: A Conversation on Race” at the Palladium Ballroom featuring Jim Schutze, author of the Accommodation, and Michael Philips, author of White Metropolis.
About 14 Dallas city council candidates, almost half of the number invited, and maybe 100 people showed up to the former event centered on action concerning police reform. Other candidates, let’s say they were either pre-occupied or ignored the event and the police reform questionnaire sent out. The questionnaire asked for candidate’s stance on policies such as the DPD’s 72 hour review rule and independent investigations.
The latter event was moved to the Palladium Ballroom because of the large demand. Man has a taste to indulge in history and conversation. The only thing missing was the whiskey.
An accommodation it may be, DA Hawk can still bring the officers to trial if she feels there is a case. Too much conversation, dialogue and interfacing is going on. The time now is only for action. Come out this Thursday and let Hawk know how you feel.
UPDATE: The meeting was rescheduled to May 14th at 6:00 p.m.Do you agree or disagree that Harrison’s death was justified? Here is the video.