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Dallas Morning News 10/3/19 - After Amber Guyger verdict, how far have we come since a Dallas cop killed Santos Rodriguez in 1973?

dmn santos commentaryCommentary by Robert Wilonsky Oct 3, 2019

"Dallas cannot run from its past," activist Hadi Jawad told me Wednesday. Especially when it chases us into the present.

From the commentary:

"A 30-year-old Dallas police officer shoots an unarmed innocent of color. The officer, who has been on the force for just a few years and has already been involved in one prior shooting, is charged with murder. The officer's defense team seeks first a change of venue; then, later, offers "mistake of fact" as a defense, insisting the shooting was an accident.

In the days after, a Dallas Morning News editorial says that while "obviously the public is horrified and sickened by this shooting ... remaining calm and letting justice take its course [is] imperative." A news story also appears in this newspaper beneath the headline "Officer with a Gun Holds Awesome Power," which says at the time of the shooting, the officer's life was not in danger and that "there was no reason for anything at all ever to have happened."

There is a week-long trial, during which there is sworn testimony revealing ugly truths about the Dallas Police Department, resulting in promises of reviews and reforms, changes and consequences. There is much hand-wringing in the media, too, about protests and demonstrations that never materialize. It takes the jury just five hours to find the officer guilty of murder. The next day, the officer is given what activists believe to be a sentence far too light and lenient.

All of this took place 46 years ago.

'But Dallas cannot run from its past,' activist Hadi Jawad told me Wednesday. No, we cannot. Especially when it chases us into the present."

Read the complete commentary:


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