In one very limited sense, the Dallas PD response to a pair of armed robberies in South Dallas on the night of February 2, 2012, was a success. After a brief chase, they arrested 29-year-old Donnell Charles Collins after finding him wedged between a toilet and a wall in an abandoned apartment complex. Fred, the officers' canine companion, caused only minor bleeding when he clamped down on Collins' left calf.
But that only happened after police had shot Collins, one of his robbery victims, and a guy, Randolph Glenn, who had the misfortune to be walking down a nearby street. None of the shots was fatal.
Glenn, 54, is now suing the city of Dallas and officer Bunthavuth Te for using excessive force and violating his civil rights by shooting him in the leg.
According to police records, events began at about 9:45 that night when two officers were flagged by a man who said he had just been robbed. The victim directed officers to a blue Dodge van parked down the road, which Collins was in the middle of carjacking.
Officers Thomas Hughes and Joshua Shipp approached the vehicle. Hughes tapped on the window and told Collins to show his hands. Instead, Collins retrieved a black object that Hughes took for a gun (it turned out to be a BB gun). Hughes fired one round into the car while Shipp tried to extricate his carjacking victim, a 49-year-old woman, from the passenger seat.
Collins stepped on the gas and drove away before Shipp could undo her seat belt. Hughes fired another shot through the rear passenger window of the departing vehicle. Collins suffered a gunshot wound to the buttocks. The woman was grazed by a bullet.
Other officers, including Te, arrived soon after to assist in the search for the suspect. Te encountered Glenn walking in the 2700 block of Medill Street and decided he matched the description of the suspect provided by victims. Te said Glenn ignored his commands to show his hands, instead slipping them into his pocket. Fearing he was going for a gun, Te fired.
There are some problems with that narrative, Glenn says. For one, he and Collins looked nothing alike. Collins was a 6-foot-1, 280-pound man who had just been shot in the ass. Glenn was noticeably shorter (5-foot-9), slimmer (160 pounds), older (53) and, most telling, had no bullet wound.
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"Given that there is a 4 inch difference in height, a 120 pound difference in weight, and a 24 year age difference, the only apparent similarity between Collins and Glenn appears to be that both are African American males," the suit says.
The reason he didn't comply with Te's orders to show his hands is that he is hard of hearing.
It's not clear what actions, if any, were taken by DPD following the shooting. We've asked for the outcome of the internal affairs investigation that was inevitably conducted.
Glenn is asking for unspecified damages.