Collette Flanagan has spent the past seven months rallying to have the cop who killed her son Clinton Allen put in jail. Nothing has worked, not her complaints against Dallas Police Chief David Brown, not her protest outside District Attorney Craig Watkins' Grambling-Prairie View fundraiser, not Allen's twin boys holding "Honk to Indict Killer Cops" signs. It's clear now that nothing's going to.
The Dallas Morning News' Tanya Eiserer reports in this morning's paper that a Dallas County grand jury declined to indict officer Clark Staller for shooting the 25-year-old at an East Oak Cliff apartment complex in March.
Speaking to Eiserer, Watkins struck an almost apologetic tone.
"In this case, there are no winners," he said. "According to the grand jury's assessment, there was not enough evidence to indict this officer."
Allen's death came on the heels of several high-profile shooting by DPD officers, but his story never seemed to gain as much traction as the deaths of James Harper, who was also unarmed, or John Husband, who was shot in the back.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
There's no telling why. Maybe the narrative in Allen's case was too messy. Police said Allen was choking Staller from behind at the time of the shooting, and that he had PCP in his system and a history of drug convictions. Flanagan and her supporters countered by pointing out that Staller was suspended for 20 days last year for running over a burglary suspect then lying about it to his superiors.
Flanagan and her supporters are not giving up. In a blog post announcing the grand jury's decision, they promise to "pursue this killer ... into phase II of our campaign."
What shape that will take is unclear, but it will involve fighting against Watkins' re-election.