The Observer's Guide to the Race and Police In Dallas

Dallas' police department has received intense scrutiny since Micah Johnson ambushed Dallas police following a march against police brutality on July 7. Our city has a complex history with law enforcement that the Observer has extensively covered. Here's a quick list of reading material that can help explain the dynamic between the citizens of Dallas and its police force.

On the Record with Dallas Chief of Police David Brown: The Observer's wide-ranging interview with Chief Brown in February touched on community policing and the threat of violence against police officers.

Crossing Division Street
: In a book excerpt, Jim Schutze discusses how the events of his childhood and adolescence in Michigan shaped his perceptions of race.

Remind Me Again Why Dallas Has Separate Police Unions Divided by Race: Schutze on one of the weirdest things about the DPD, the department's three, race-divided police unions.

Should We Fire Police Chief David Brown, Fire Ourselves or Just Set Everything on Fire?: Before the ambush, Dallas Police Chief David Brown was on the hot seat, thanks to a series of disagreements with Dallas' three police unions.

Help, It's the Police!: Todd Lyon's interactions with the DART police department highlight the problems the transit system's riders have with a police force that's largely focused on catching fare scofflaws.

Dallas Cops Need Guardians, Not Warriors: Community policing, the kind that Brown's pushed throughout the city, is important, but it doesn't heal all wounds.

Forget Me Not: On a century-old lynching in a small town in North Texas — "The truth, say older family members and those who knew Jones, is that he was an otherwise healthy man who died from injuries inflicted by the gang of white men who dragged him from his family's shack that August night 50 years ago. Afterward, the killers threatened to murder Catherine Jones, Harrison's wife of 12 years, and the rest of her family if anybody said anything to white authorities. Catherine Jones died in the late 1970s, having never told her children the truth about the night their father died."

Four Decades Later, the City Still Won't Apologize for Santos Rodriguez's Murder: Santos Rodriguez was murdered by a Dallas cop more than 40 years ago. He was 12 years old, and accused of stealing a couple of bucks from a vending machine. Officer Darrell Cain shot him in the head while Rodriguez was handcuffed in the back of a patrol car.

The Last 911 Call: A Mentally Ill Dallas Man and the Cops Who Saved Him, Until They Didn't: Dallas Cops are often the first line of defense and treatment for the city's mentally ill. The results can be tragic, like they were for Jason Harrison and his family.

One Dallas Cop's Experience and Thoughts on Thursday Night: DPD Major Max Geron's poignant description of his experiences during July 7's shooting.

Aftermath: Dallas Regroups, Mourns and Looks Ahead After a Long Night of Pain: Dallas deals with the aftermath of the ambush.

Dallas Police Department Brass Calls a Police Shooting "Reckless": Kelvion Walker was shot by Dallas police because he was riding in the passenger seat of a stolen car and because DPD officer Amy Wilburn acted recklessly, DPD brass says. Wilburn has been charged with aggravated assault.

Graphic Body Cam Footage Shows Dallas Police Shooting Mentally Ill Man Holding Screwdriver
: The body cam video of Harrison's shooting is a rough, important watch.

5 Things You Should Know About Dallas' Pension Crisis: Dallas' Police and Fire Pension System is in deep trouble. It's one of DPD's biggest recruiting tools. That's a problem.

Dallas Police Association Says Public Shouldn't Know Names of Cops Involved in Shootings: DPA believes in protecting officers from public scrutiny at all costs.

Cops Barricade South Dallas Car Wash, Threaten Arrest If You Ask Too Many Questions: If you run a car wash in the wrong part of town, Schutze documents, you might have trouble with DPD.

Absentee Minded: In South Dallas, votes can come cheap, Schutze discovered in 2001.