By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Here's the question. Who's ever going to finally kick John Wiley Price's ass? Here's the answer: Me.
I have made up my mind. John Wiley, you better run.
I just can't take any more of his shit. One day soon—let's keep it a surprise—I'm going to go down there to his office in the School Book Depository, where Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy, and I am going to whup Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price's butt up one side and down the other.
Don't try to hide, man. I will find you.
I'm not going to put up with any more of this crap from you. Your ass is grass. You better put your boxing gloves on. The old white man is coming.
People as far away as Greenville, North Carolina, saw that damn video from KTVT-Channel 11, showing the December 1 Dallas County Commissioners Court meeting where Commissioner Price acted like he was going to beat the living juice out of County Judge Jim Foster. That's embarrassing. I'm going to put a stop to this shit.
Foster and Price have been fighting. It's some kind of political crap about an investigation. Whatever. They were arguing about it at their weekly meeting.
Price is yelling at everybody and saying, "Goddamn it." Foster kind of meekly taps with his gavel—pitty-pat, pitty-pat. Price gives him a look that says, "Don't do that again." So Foster gives the gavel a good solid whack and says, "The court will come to order."
Price whirls on him and smashes his fist as hard as he can down on the table, coming about a quarter of an inch from Foster's face, and Price shouts, "So what? Make me come to order!" From then on he's a goddamn-it machinegun, yelling at the rest of them and acting like he's going to kick all their asses.
That was the part Channel 11 caught on an amazing bit of footage, which then went viral on the Web, thanks largely to an item on our own blog, Unfair Park. Apparently people in other parts of the country and world think it's unusual for a public official to go completely meshugga in a public meeting and threaten to kick another official's ass for calling the meeting to order.
But the only thing unusual for Price was that he did it in public. He does it in private all the time. That particular gesture—pounding the table an inch from somebody's face—is part of his regular act behind closed doors. Foster has described private meetings to me in the past where Price has done his table-pounding deal. So have other commissioners.
And then you have to put all that in context with Price's whole history. In 1990 he was arrested and charged with criminal mischief for defacing billboards. Later that year he was called before a grand jury after chasing a cop, pointing a gun at him and then punching him out.
The city was trying to pick a new police chief that year. Price told The Dallas Morning News, "If you try to bring in a good old boy in this system, we're going to be in the streets, physically, literally, shooting folks. We're not going to tolerate it."
A while later the News launched an elaborate upgrade of its own security system. As in, Pull up the drawbridge and break out the telephoto lenses.
In 1991, two assault charges against Price were dismissed when officials at WFAA-Channel 8 and a California movie producer signed affidavits asking that Price not be prosecuted for attacking them.
The same year Price was sentenced to 75 days in jail for snapping the windshield wipers off a lady's car—part of a much more complicated scene that involved Price riding around on the hood of her car screaming at her while she tried to get away from a protest he was holding at a police substation.
Also in 1991, Price was arrested for breaking a construction worker's ankle during a protest. When he was on trial for that charge, three jurors and the prosecutor all told the judge they had received death threats. One juror said a caller had told her, "I saw you in the courtroom today. If you find that guy guilty, you are a dead bitch."
Price's lawyer, Billy Ravkind, accused the jurors and the district attorney of being whiners. "This isn't the first time a juror has been threatened," Ravkind said. State District Judge James K. Walker agreed and denied a motion for mistrial.
Why would the judge do that? I can tell you why. He was afraid Price would come slam a fist down next to his face on the bench and say, "Make me come to order!"
Price eventually was found not guilty of assaulting the man. The Chicago Tribune carried the story under the headline, "Dallas acquittal eases fear of racial unrest." Kind of tells the whole story, eh? Later the guy sued Price and won $113,000.
In 1992, Price was arrested for hitting a cop, but Dallas Police Chief Bill Rathburn ordered his release. No charges were filed. By that point Price could pretty well hit anybody he wanted.
Also in 1992, Price was arrested for tackling a jogger. At his arraignment Price said, "Needless to say, I don't think I did anything wrong." He pleaded no contest and was given a slap on the wrist.
That same year a judge dismissed felony sexual assault charges against Price after the complainant, a former employee of his, refused to testify, citing death threats. The same judge also dismissed assault charges against Price for beating up a television cameraman after the cameraman declined to testify. There's just a whole lot of declining to testify in this man's background.
In 1993 Price was arrested again in a protest at NorthPark mall in which a small child was trampled by a horse. A police official said, "Mr. Price, from our indications, surrounded himself with children as the officers tried to arrest him."
Price said it was "a case where you can't have no black folks interrupting white folks' Christmas."
The protest was against the police, not the mall. Price used the children as a human shield against horse attack. It was...uh...oh, forget it. The rest of it does not bear explanation.
Months later he was accused of pulling a gun on a motorist. No charges were filed. A short time later, he was charged with misdemeanor assault after throwing a glass of water in a man's face.
The next year Price was arrested again after he and a crowd of supporters surrounded a police officer and shoved him. The policeman quoted Price as telling him, "You can't stop me."
Sort of like, "Make me come to order!"
The next year he was arrested again for ignoring a police order to clear a street during a protest at Parkland Hospital. A month later he was arrested again for punching out a passerby at Parkland.
In 1997, a man named Derek Fagan-McHenry pleaded guilty to making terroristic threats—threatening to murder the guy who got his ankle broken if Price got convicted. State District Judge John Nelms gave him six months deferred adjudication and a $500 fine.
OK, I'm getting bored. Let's leave it at this. For the last 20 years, Dallas has been telling John Wiley Price, "Beat us! Curse us! Break our ankles and throw water in our faces! If you ever find yourself on trial for any of it, call up the jurors and threaten to kill their bitch asses. Whatever you do, we promise you one thing: We won't do nuthin'."
You know, I could go into a whole liberal guilt thing about how this isn't Price's fault, really. It's our fault. How can we expect him to do anything but break our ankles and throw water in our faces when we act like such gigantic, chicken-shit white pussies?
The poor kid. He's just reacting to the stimuli in his environment. It's our fault for failing to do a better job of mentoring him. Sure. I could say that.
But guess what? I just looked in my liberal guilt account, and that son of a bitch is empty! It's over-drawn in fact. It's got a penalty charge on it. If anything, I think Price owes me some guilt!
Meanwhile, nobody else is going to do anything. He comes that far from whacking the county judge in the face, and the rest of the commissioners sit there with shit-eating grins on their faces.
Oh, my. Oh, now. We better look this up in Robert's Rules of Order. OK, here it is. Should a member of the body lose patience with the presiding officer and knock him upside the head causing loss of consciousness, another member may move for an adjournment, but the motion must be seconded. Meanwhile, should a member of the audience shout, "You are a dead bitch," then all of the members should flee the chamber.
No. No. It's not funny. There's only one thing that can be done. Somebody has got to turn this situation around. And as one of the biggest, oldest, liberalest guilty white pussies I know, I believe it's my job.
I'm gonna whup his ass. I'm gonna do it for Dallas.
Now, he may or may not know this, but I happen to be trained in certain arts. Yeah, that's right. I got a few moves. I am fully trained in what are called the liberal arts. He won't even see it coming.
I want to make one thing very clear. This is not a terroristic threat. I repeat, not a terroristic threat. So forget about that shit. In order to be a terroristic threat, a threat has to be terrifying.
No, this is just what's going to happen. Jim Schutze. John Wiley Price. The Thrillah on Marilla. Get your money down, folks. It's going to happen.
I can run through a hurricane and don't get wet. When John Wiley meets me, he'll pay his debt.