Down on Sherman Street

In the old neighborhood, Joe Lee Calloway played dominoes and hung out with his buddies. Until a Grand Prairie cop killed him right there

Chandra immediately left work and headed for Dalworth. When she got to Sherman Street and saw the yellow police tape and the crowd of people, she began to suspect that her father had been killed.

"It was a mob there. People were angry. I could hear it. I just rolled the window down and listened for two minutes," she says. "That was more than what I had prepared myself for."

Tears welling in her eyes, Chandra recalls how her cousin told her that Calloway was dead when she pulled into the parking lot at the Dallas/Fort Worth Medical Center.

"I was trying to listen, but in my mind I wasn't hearing," she says, her voice cracking slightly. "All that was in my mind was, 'I can't believe they shot my dad. I can't believe they shot my dad.'"

After his workout, Charles Calloway returned to Sherman Street just in time to see his father being lifted into an ambulance. A squad car backed up the street, and an officer told Charles Calloway he couldn't go down there because it was a crime scene.

"He had this tone in his voice like, 'Oh man, I'm talking to Joe Lee's son,'" says Charles, bowing his head and lowering his voice to a whisper. "Why did the police officer tell me I couldn't go down there? There wasn't no family around. He had to die alone."

Earlier this month, Grand Prairie Police Chief Harry Crumb fired Blake Hubbard, stating that Hubbard had "pulled the trigger too prematurely" on Joe Lee Calloway. On November 8, a Dallas County grand jury indicted Hubbard on a murder charge.

Also, in April, Norman Scott filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Hubbard and several other Grand Prairie police officers, claiming they held a gun to his head. The suit stemmed from a September 1995 incident, during which Hubbard pulled over Scott, who is black, because he was driving a pickup truck similar to that of two white men he was pursuing.

Dallas NAACP President Lee Alcorn has requested an FBI investigation into Calloway's death, arguing that Hubbard may have violated Calloway's civil rights.

Hubbard is the first officer in 23 years to face a murder charge in Dallas County for killing someone while on duty. He is now waging a publicity campaign to persuade the public that his decision to kill Calloway was justified.

Hubbard, his tearful wife Michelle, and attorney John Read answered questions and responded to caller comments for nearly two hours on The Rick Roberts Show earlier this month on KRLD-AM 1080.

In a steady voice, Hubbard told listeners that he would pull the trigger again if he ever finds himself in the same situation. He is convinced that he will be acquitted of murder, and he vowed to fight to get his job back.

"When I make it back to the street, if I have to protect another officer I will do whatever it takes," said Hubbard, whose actions were supported by a majority of the callers.

Defense attorney Read, meanwhile, lashed out at Chief Crumb, whom he accused of caving in to protests lodged by NAACP President Alcorn and his "rough riders."

"What if this was a black officer shooting a white man?" Read asked. "This would be a dead issue."

Calloway's family and several Dalworth residents think Grand Prairie's finest are rallying on their former colleague's behalf. In recent weeks, they say, police have been prowling about their homes, parking nearby, and staring at them for no apparent reason.

They believe that some officers are trying to intimidate potential witnesses in Hubbard's criminal trial, and that is sending another ripple of fear through a community still shell-shocked by Calloway's death.

For Charles and Elizabeth Calloway, the police presence and the NAACP's call for a federal investigation are adding confusion to their already chaotic lives.

The bass-heavy sound of L.A.'s Gospel Gangstas echoes inside the living room of Charles Calloway's North Grand Prairie home. A crown of thorns rattles on its hook above the CD player. A Bible rests on the coffee table, next to a copy of Harold Lindsell's book, God's Incomparable World.

After turning off the music, Calloway takes a seat on the sofa next to his wife. A youth minister at the Calvary Temple Assembly of God, Calloway says he is resisting the temptation to join in the chorus of voices denouncing Grand Prairie's police department.

"My dad did not teach me to hate people. That's why I don't hold anybody accountable except Blake Hubbard, and I don't hate him," he says. "I am here to represent how my dad would speak, what he would do, and what he would be concerned about. The one thing I know he would not want is to bring more chaos into the neighborhood."

Although the Calloways are trying to practice what Joe Lee preached, they say Grand Prairie police officers aren't making the task easy. Since Hubbard was indicted for murder on November 8, the couple says, squad cars have been rolling onto their street, their drivers parking in front of the house for several minutes at a time.

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