The Dallas Police Department had a press conference Wednesday to tell the public that an intersection south of Fair Park hasn't been forgotten by police. The reason for this reassurance is a recent Facebook Live video.
The video, shot at the intersection of Malcolm X Boulevard and Elsie Faye Heggins Street, shows drivers peeling out and doing doughnuts in the middle of the street for almost 15 minutes before police arrive.
"It is not lawless, as I’ve heard characterized in the media, at all,” said Vernon Hale, assistant police chief. “We have good citizens down there, and yes, we have people cruising."
During the video, a police car pulls through the intersection and doesn't stop, allowing a white Crown Victoria to continue smoking its tires and making a tremendous amount of noise as witnesses look on.
Hale said the officer driving the police car had just made an arrest and couldn't stop without endangering himself or his prisoner. The area around the intersection, Hale said, gets extra attention from police on weekends because the department shifted bike patrol officers' days off so they can be in the area.
"People cruise and socialize, creating traffic incidents and crowd-control incidents," he said. "This year, we’ve taken several steps to reduce that traffic nuisance and crowding over the weekends."
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Officers weren't on the scene as the video was being filmed. Hale said that because the multiple 911 calls about activity in the intersection were coded as being about street racing, responders treated it as a low-priority call.
The day of the week, a Tuesday, also caused a delay in response, Hale said.
“We’ve not historically had issues in the area during the week,” he said, but he added that supervising officers are being sent to the area every day.