Four Dallas City Councilmembers have been very public about their support for protests sparked by the tragic death of George Floyd, but the same four have fallen silent when it comes to investigating how many Dallas police officers have questionable credibility.
After the death of George Floyd at the hands of then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, protests sprung up in the City of Dallas, with some developing into riots.
From the beginning, District 7 Councilmember Adam Bazaldua has shown public support for the protests.
Councilmembers Adam Medrano and Omar Narvaez joined Bazaldua in organizing last weekend’s protest march.
These three also claimed credit for the charges being dropped against the 674 protestors who were arrested on June 1 for obstructing a highway.
District 11 Councilmember Lee Kleinman has joined these three as well, recently retweeting a 2018 video of himself accusing police unions of protecting officers who were “gunning down members of our community.”
Kleinman has a history of conflict with the Dallas Police Association. In 2017, he was caught claiming he still had their endorsement after they had retracted it.
Kleinman also joined Medrano and Bazaldua in painting “Black Lives Matter” outside city hall with temporary paint.
Despite all of this grandstanding, not one of these councilmembers have yet brought up a critical aspect of police reform: investigating if the Dallas Police Department currently has any bad actors.
One very simple way to do this is to determine if any officers currently serving “have had sustained incidents of untruthfulness, criminal convictions, candor issues, or some other type of issue placing their credibility into question.” This is called having a “Brady” or “Giglio” list or file, and district attorneys will not call officers who have such a list to testify in court.
“From a public integrity standpoint, people with Giglio files should not be police officers,” Derek Cohen of Right on Crime said in an interview.
On June 5, in response to a question, Bazaldua said he would ask Dallas District Attorney John Creuzot how many Dallas police officers have such a list. He claimed to have “regular dialogue” with Creuzot.
When asked what he would do if he discovered such officers did exist on the force, he said: “Just as in the case of Diamond Ross, we need to hold the department accountable to these horrible acts.”
One week later, Bazaldua has not spoken again on the matter, nor did he bring it up during portions of Wednesday’s city council meeting addressing the police budget.
So far, he has not responded to inquiries about when he will deliver a public statement on the matter.
On June 8, the DA’s office confirmed to Texas Scorecard that they have Brady lists. Since that time, we have been unable to find any public statement from Bazaldua on if he has spoken with Creuzot about this or what he has learned of the matter.
Bazaldua, Kleinman, Medrano, Narvaez, and the rest of council have yet to respond to inquiries sent to their offices on how many officers—if any—have Brady or Giglio lists, and what they intend to do about it. Mayor Eric Johnson has also been silent.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins—who is also very supportive of the protests—has also been silent when asked if he has spoken with Creuzot about how many in the Dallas Sheriff and Dallas Police Departments have Brady or Giglio lists.
Yet, Bazaldua and Narvaez were among the 10 council members who sent letters to City Manager T.C. Broadnax arguing for “Reimagining Public Safety.” Councilmember Jaime Resendez has defined this as a “reallocation of funds” from the police department to other government programs, such as 24-hour recreation centers and paying kids taxpayer dollars to mow lawns.
Why are some of the loudest voices for “Reimagining Public Safety” being so quiet about verifying the city’s uniformed police officers’ integrity?
Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., a youth-led rally in response to police brutality will be held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Dallas. Bazaldua is billed as one of the three headline speakers. Hopefully, he will make an announcement on this subject then.
Concerned voters may contact the Dallas City Council and Mayor Eric Johnson.