Dallas Police Association Says Public Shouldn't Know Names of Cops Involved in Shootings

Marchers protest police brutality near downtown's Main Street Garden in October 2014.
Marchers protest police brutality near downtown's Main Street Garden in October 2014.
Sky Chadde

Ron Pinkston says Dallas cops are in danger. When the Dallas Police Department releases the names of officers who kill a member of the public, things get even worse, the Dallas Police Association president claims, so he wants DPD to stop doing that.

Anti-police activists are "calling for the killing of law enforcement officers across our country," Pinkston said in a letter to DPD Chief David Brown on Tuesday, creating the need for decreased transparency at Brown's department.

"With the recent surge in murders of law enforcement officers, the men and women who proudly wear the badge — and their families — are in more danger than ever. The Dallas Police Association has received numerous calls from families frightened for their loved ones, and this is adding to the burden of an already stressful profession," Pinkston, who did not return an interview request, wrote.

So far in 2015, 25 cops have be killed in the line of duty in the U.S. by non-accidental gunfire, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. Through September 9, 2014, 33 police officers were killed by non-accidental gunfire. Two Texas cops have been killed by non-accidental gunfire in 2015. Three were killed in the same period last year. If current form holds, 2015 will be the second least deadly for cops in the last 25 years, according to The Guardian. No Dallas cop has been killed by non-accidental gunfire since 2009.

Still, Pinkston believes cops should be even safer.

"I believe the DPD should always conduct itself in the most transparent manner possible. But as the recent shooting of the DPD headquarters proves, there are unstable people in our community who seek to harm the officers under your command. As a result, I hope you will do everything you can to protect your officers by no longer releasing the names of officers involved in deadly force situations," Pinkston says.

James Boulware attacked DPD headquarters in June. Boulware, angry from a child custody dispute, shot at the department from an armored van before being killed in a Jack in the Box parking lot following a chase. He is not known or suspected to have been affiliated with Black Lives Matter or any other police protest group.

Since Brown became chief in 2010, he has been praised for his efforts to increase transparency in his department. Last year, DPD publicly released data from each police shooting that's happened in the last 12 years. Brown was invited to the White House in April to talk about the project.

“Nobody does that” except Dallas, Brown told The Dallas Morning News in April. “We get smashed at home, but it’s perceived positive everywhere else. We’re at least trying to get that data out to the public.”

In case you're wondering what you can do to stem the anti-police tide, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick released a five-point plan to deal with the problem last week: 

  • Start calling our officers sir and ma'am all of the time. It's a show of respect they deserve.
  • Every time you see an officer anywhere, let them know you appreciate their service to our community and you stand with them.
  • If you are financially able, when you see them in a restaurant on duty pick up their lunch check, send over a dessert or simply stop by their table briefly and say thank you for their service.
  • Put their charities on your giving list.
  • If your local law enforcement has volunteer-citizen job opportunities, sign up.

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