Stroke Victim and Son, Arrested by DPD in March, File Federal Suit Against City of Dallas
For those who don't recall, on February 23 Dallas Police officers were dispatched to the Hudspeth Avenue home of Dianne Irons after a call concerning some kind of a domestic dispute at the East Oak Cliff residence. Irons and her nephew, who'd once lived at the house, were arguing over its ownership. But upon arrival one of the officers, LaTasha Moore, thought something else was amiss, so she asked Irons to step out on to the porch -- at which point Moore arrested Irons for public intoxication, due, in part, to Irons having slurred speech. A police report would indicate that Irons was "under the influence of some medication causing her to be a danger to herself."
But that was not the case. Far from it: Twenty years earlier, Dianne Irons suffered a stroke that impaired her speech and made it difficult for her to walk. She tried to explain this to Moore; Irons begged the officer to let her call her son, Ben, who tried, without success, to convince police of his mother's condition. He drove to his mom's house, wife and kids in tow, with medical records. But Moore wasn't having it: She arrested Ben too, and according to court records, Ben told his wife to go and to take the kids while he sat handcuffed for two hours in the back seat of a police car before being released. His mother wasn't so fortunate: Dianne Irons spent six hours in the drunk tank and was issued a $394 ticket.
In early March, Dallas Police Chief David Brown and Assistant Chief Vince Golbeck went to Irons's house to apologize. Golbeck left saying, "Bless her heart, you can't help but feel for her and what happened to her in that situation. We let her know that we care and that we would do better next time." In a statement from Brown, issued March 4, he said, "The Department regrets that we did not recognize Ms. Irons' medical condition."
But yesterday, Dianne and Ben Irons filed a federal suit against the city of Dallas and Officer Moore for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment. The suit also says Moore humiliated the mother and son, and that the DPD was negligent in its training. The suit follows. The Irons's attorney is Ray Jackson, best known as Don Hill's lawyer.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.