Dallas Police Department officials are mistaken if they think the mother of slain resident Clinton Allen can be brushed aside for procedural technicalities.
Attorneys for the city convinced the police department’s internal ethics panel to dismiss Collette Flanagan’s complaint that the chief of police hadn’t properly notified federal authorities of the lethal officer-involved shooting of her son, with the city arguing that Flanagan isn’t eligible to complain since she doesn’t live or have business dealings in Dallas.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Allen’s mother rightly called the decision “ridiculous.” She said, “This is my only son. I’m not going away.”
I wouldn’t bet against her. With the help of local police accountability activists, she has successfully sought to the have the officer who killed her son taken off the streets for further investigation. The police department contends that notice has been given to the FBI. If so, why not turn over the evidence and show good faith instead of hiding behind red tape?
The department’s official report is that Allen, 25, was choking the officer, allegedly provoking the shooting. However, the officer’s account seems implausible since Allen was shot seven times, including in the back and under his armpit when his hands were raised. Just last year, the officer was suspended for lying after denying that he ran over a suspect in his patrol car. According to sources who have canvassed the apartment complex, witnesses have come forward to dispute the police’s record of events, saying that Allen never touched the officer.
Allen’s supports are encouraged to visit the Justice for Clinton Allen page on Facebook or on Tumblr. Supporters say the department “breeds a culture to harbor thugs masquerading as police officers.” If the department is going to begin mending its reputation, an open and independent investigation is needed. Unfortunately, for a department that has killed 60 men since 2001, so far that seems like the least of the department’s concerns.