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          That controversial police memo directing cops to not respond to certain crimes has quickly been rescinded according to an NBC 5 DFW article from January 4th. In it they say:


A city of Dallas memorandum dated Jan. 1 that said in most cases police officers would not be dispatched to certain types of calls like car thefts, criminal mischief and child custody disputes, was rescinded Saturday afternoon. Quietly released, many learned about the directive via social media, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) who tweeted a scathing response Saturday. Dallas’ incoming police chief, Eddie Garcia, will join the department from San Jose, California, where he served as chief for the last five years. Hours after the governor’s tweet, Dallas Police issued a statement saying the directive had been rescinded.”


          Many were quick to voice their displeasure with the new directive, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbot according to a Dallas Morning News article from January 3rd. In it they say:


Abbott responded to news of the memo Saturday on Twitter, saying: ‘The state of Texas will begin work this month to fix this. Everyone in our state deserves to be safe from crime,’ he said. ‘We will restore law and order in Texas.’ Later that evening, Dallas police said the memo had been rescinded because it was issued prematurely while the department is still evaluating the proposal to direct callers to the online reporting system, which was introduced in June 2019 to help with staffing shortages.”


          It looks like Dallas leaders are not keen on the new directives, and given all the negative backlash, it looks like these directive drafts aren’t going to be pushing through. 

         A controversial Dallas PD memo that tells police to ignore certain emergency calls has been leaked, causing quite an upset for locals according to a KPRC Radio article from January 4th. In it they say:


After hiring a new police chief from California, a leaked memo from the top law enforcement officials in Dallas says officers will no longer respond to stolen cars, criminal mischief, reckless damage, runaway kids and child custody escalations, among other offenses.”


          If that sounds worrying, that’s because it is. Though, the Dallas PD was quick to point out that the memo is not going into effect for now, as it simply details a draft of their plan according to a Fox 4 article from January 4th. In it they say: 


A leaked Dallas Police Department memo is drawing criticism from the governor and others in law enforcement for outlining certain crimes that police will investigate, but no longer be dispatched to if there’s a 911 call. The department says the memo is only a draft. The memo, citing more than a dozen types of calls that officers will no longer be dispatched to, is being called ‘premature’ in a post made on the department’s social media accounts, but it’s not off the table.”


          So to be clear; nothing is set in stone and police will still be investigating the crimes in question. 

         Dallas continues its upward trend on Covid-19 cases, shattering hospitalizations record in Dallas County according to a Dallas Morning News article from December 31st. In it they say:


The latest Dallas County victims included nine Dallas residents: a man in his 30s, two men in their 40s, a man in his 60s, two men and a woman in their 70s, and a man and a woman in their 80s. All had been hospitalized, and all except the woman in her 80s had underlying health conditions. A Dallas woman in her 50s died at home and had underlying health conditions. Two Garland residents were among the dead: an 18-year-old man and a woman in her 60s who each had been hospitalized in critically ill condition. The man had underlying chronic medical conditions; the woman did not. The remaining victims were a Mesquite woman in her 50s, a Carrollton man in his 60s, a Richardson man in his 70s and a Hutchins man in his 70s. All had been critically ill in the hospital and had underlying health conditions. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said COVID-19 hospitalizations are at a record high while the availability of ICU beds in the county is at a record low.”


         In fact, flights were delayed in Dallas because of a positive case at an FAA facility according to an NBC News article from January 5th. In it they say:


Airspace around the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, one of the nation’s busiest, was closed Monday after a controller tested positive for Covid-19. The airport’s Terminal Radar Approach Control Facility was cleaned after a controller tested positive, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The center handles inbound and outbound air traffic at the airport and others, and controllers there were working out of DFW’s center tower, the agency said. The FAA’s website had listed a ground stop around 6:30 p.m., and it was lifted about an hour and a half later, the airport said.”


         Just goes to show, all it takes is one case for whole operation chains to grind to a halt no matter for how short.  


          Earlier in the year Sally Luther, a Dallas hair salon owner was arrested for violating Covid-19 restrictions according to a Washington Post article from May 8. In it they say: 


The judge told Shelley Luther she didn’t have to go to jail. The owner of Salon à la Mode in Dallas had been operating her business despite a temporary restraining order last week from Dallas County State District Judge Eric Moyé. She kept operating despite a county official’s cease-and-desist letter ordering her to close — a letter she ripped up before a crowd of protesters in a theatrical display of defiance during an Open Texas rally in Frisco, Tex., on April 25.”


         Robin Torres is another person who violated stay-at-home orders and went to jail for it according to a Texas Tribune article published on December 19th, In it they say:


Torres was one of at least 300 people arrested for violating COVID-19 orders, often in conjunction with other charges, in the first six weeks of the pandemic in the Rio Grande Valley, an investigation by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune found. Here, in a part of the state already teeming with law enforcement because of its location along the border with Mexico, officials took some of the hardest lines on enforcement of COVID-19 rules in Texas. Altogether, authorities here issued nearly 2,000 citations to individuals for violating the orders, the investigation found.”


         Looks like not everyone in Texas agrees with strict and punitive enforcement of COVID-19 policies. 


Earlier in the year, Ruel Hamilton was placed under house arrest for improper contact with a witness in his bribery case, according to a Dallas Morning News article from August 5th. In it, they say;

A Dallas developer accused of paying bribes to a city council member has been placed on house arrest by a federal judge pending trial for trying to influence a government witness in his case, court records say. Ruel Hamilton, 64, phoned his former employee, Leslie Martin, several times in January and suggested that she might not want to cooperate with FBI agents, whom he referred to as a bunch of storm troopers’ and liars, prosecutors said. That was just weeks after the government had disclosed that Martin was a potential witness in the case, according to court documents.”

New developments are now coming to light in the Ruel Hamilton case. New charges and transcripts have emerged tied to the case, according to an NBC 5 DFW article published on December 5th. In it, they say: 

The additional charges are contained in a “superseding” indictment that also includes transcripts of what appear to be secretly recorded conversations on how to cheat campaign finance rules. Prosecutors have added a bribery conspiracy charge against Hamilton, who was already facing charges of bribing former council members Carolyn Davis and Dwaine Caraway in exchange for city funding on a low-income housing project run by the developer.”

This is just one of the corruption scandals that hit Dallas City this year. 

A Dallas developer has been accused of offering bribes to former Dallas City council members according to an ABC 8 WFAA article published on December 17th. In it they say: 

A Dallas developer has been indicted on bribery charges for his dealings with two former Dallas City Council members who, prosecutors claim, supported his tax-credit housing projects in exchange for money and promises of future payments. Sherman Roberts, president and chief executive officer of City Wide Community Development Corporation, is charged with two crimes: conspiracy to commit bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, and bribery concerning a local government receiving federal benefits. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in federal prison. His attorney, Douglas Greene, of Arlington, said Roberts will be making his initial appearance in federal court at 10 a.m. Friday in Dallas. ‘He’s pleading not guilty,’ Greene said.”

The article doesn’t name the former council members involved, but a Dallas Morning News article also from December 17th does. It reports;

The council members are not named in the indictment, but “Council Member A” is Carolyn Davis and “Council Member B” is Dwaine Caraway, according to evidence in the documents and officials. Davis pleaded guilty in March 2019 in a separate City Hall bribery indictment and died four months later in a car crash that also claimed her daughter. She was accused of accepting money from Ruel Hamilton, a longtime Dallas developer of affordable housing who is scheduled to go to trial next year. The government alleges that Hamilton paid Caraway $7,000 in 2018 for his future help with a proposed real estate development he wanted to build in Caraway’s city council district. Caraway is expected to be the government’s star witness in the Hamilton trial. Caraway, 68, is in federal prison after being convicted in an unrelated federal bribery scandal involving the former Dallas County Schools bus agency. He resigned from office in 2018 after pleading guilty in that corruption case and was sentenced last year to more than four years in prison.”

This isn’t the first time the Dallas City Council has been embroiled in a corruption scandal. 

A Covid testing company is currently being investigated by the Hood County Sheriff’s Department for fraud and identity theft according to a CBS 21 DFW article published on December 17th. In it they say:

Hood County Sheriff’s Office Investigators are looking into a COVID testing company after people have complained about never receiving their results.

The testing was conducted on Dec.8-9 in a Kroger parking lot. Investigators said those tested may have fallen victim to identity theft or fraud.”

Apparently, the tests were being conducted free of charge, but the service abruptly came to a halt once service was clearly not up to par according to a Hood County News article published on December 17th. In it they say:

The company that administered free COVID-19 tests in partnership with Hood County and the city of Granbury is under investigation. The Dec. 8-9 testing on the Kroger parking lot abruptly ended after the quality of service was not up to par, according to the county. The sheriff’s office on Thursday said people are having trouble getting test results, and some suspect they may be victims of identity theft or fraud. For questions or to file a complaint call the sheriff’s office at 817-579-3316.”

         The public is encouraged to reach out to the Sheriff’s office for any leads and complaints about this issue. 

          If you’re of the belief that perhaps tickets and citations cost too much in Dallas, the city wants to hear from you according to a WFAA ABC 8 article published on December 17th. In it they say:


Dallas is one of a handful of big cities acknowledging that it’s a bad business model for local government to rely on criminal fees for revenue. They are especially worried about those charges putting a disproportionate burden on low-income residents and people of color. The city is asking for public input through a survey that is active until Friday, Dec. 18th. Click here to take the survey.”


         This is timely as for the past two weeks alone, Garland has issued over 80 citations alone just for seatbelt violations according to a Dallas Morning News article published on December 7th. In it the say:


When the Garland Police Department ramped up patrols for seat belt violations for two weeks last month, officers dished out dozens of citations to motorists across the city. Between Nov. 16 and Nov. 29, the police department said 81 people were cited for seat belt and child seat safety violations. The escalated patrols were funded by a Texas Department of Transportation program, police said in a press release. Altogether, Garland police officers made 224 traffic stops, 93 of which led to citations for speeding and red light violations, issuing another 89 citations for other traffic-related offenses.”


          Though violators definitely need to be fined, maybe discussing the way and rate at which we fine people could be beneficial. 

          The infamous pile of shingles and construction debris in southeast Oak Cliff near the I-20 and I-45 has finally begun its cleanup according to an article from NBC 5 DFW published on December 17th. In it they say: 


“Right now we really can’t get overjoyed as much as everybody else because we have seen this start before, constantly before. And it started before, and it stopped. And here it is again,” Marsha Jackson, who lives alongside the pile, told NBC 5. Jackson first complained to the city about the dumpsite in January 2018, which she described as being less than 50 feet from her bedroom. In interviews with NBC 5, Jackson said dust from the site forced her family indoors and impacted their health. By December 2018, the City of Dallas sued Blue Star Recycling, the company that had planned to grind up the shingles and sell them for use in road paving material, over code violations.”


         After years of battling it out in court, the pile of dust and debris is estimated to be fully cleared by 2021 according to a Fox 4 article published on December 18th. In it they say:


Contractors spent a few days preparing the site for safe removal, and crews started the process Thursday. The shingles will be moved to McCommas Bluff Landfill, where it’s set to be recycled. It’s estimated shingle mountain will be fully removed by March 2021.”


          The cleanup is a welcomed way to draw 2020, which has been a troubling year, to a close for the Dallas Community, and especially for Marsha Jackson. 

          The people of Dallas City finally got to meet the 7 finalists for the post of Chief of Police of the city according to an article published on December 16th from NBC 5 DFW. In it they say:


In the 2017 hiring process, finalists were able to meet and greet residents and city leaders in person. This time, the COVID-19 pandemic faces the finalists along with Dallas crime, forcing the public forum to go virtual. ‘Hopefully the process that’s in place will give the community the opportunity to get to know those candidates better,’ said police union leader Sheldon Smith. Smith is Dallas Chapter President of the National Black Police Association. Union leaders had the chance to question the finalists Tuesday. Smith said officers are anxious for a new chief. ‘Not only do we need direction, we need clarity,’ Smith said. Two of the finalists come from outside Texas.”


         This, after a survey was administered asking Dallas residents what they’re looking for in their new police chief according to a Dallas Morning News article published on December 14th. In it they say:


City officials are seeking the public’s help to prioritize topics to be covered during the Q&A session through an online survey in English and Spanish that closes at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. The event will be broadcast on the city’s website, YouTube page and Spectrum Channel 16. The consulting firm that is helping to hire the city’s next police chief separately surveyed residents in November to see what they want in the next top cop. A report of the results was released earlier this month with more than 4,500 responses. In that survey, residents were asked if there was anything outside of the poll that Broadnax should consider when he picks the next police chief. More than 3,000 people responded.”


          As the race for a new Dallas Chief of Police draws to a close, the city is looking to get the public to weigh in on the choice. 

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