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Dallas leaders want citizens to ‘see something, say something’ before violence breaks out at events

Dallas police work near the scene where Dallas police officers were shot at the end of a protest being held in downtown Dallas in response to recent fatal shootings of two black men by police.
Keren Carrión
Dallas leaders and police want citizens to tell them about unpermitted events so violent crimes can be prevented.

Dallas leaders want citizens to help them find out about unpermitted events where violence might break out. This comes after a shooting at a concert left one man dead and 16 people injured.

Council Member Carolyn King Arnold said she has one message for Dallas residents.

“You see something, you say something. You see something, you do something. Because it is going to take all of us if we are moving toward the path of having quality of life in the City of Dallas,” she said at a press conference Wednesday.

Religious leaders, city officials and members of Dallas Cred, the city's violence interrupter program, united at the Flag Room to discuss the ways the city can prevent future tragedies.

Arnold said she wanted to focus the conversation on what she called the four Ps: prayer, peace, process, and people.

"Crime and violence in many ways has disturbed the peace of our city," said Annelda Crawford, Senior Pastor, Glen Oaks Methodist Church.

Council Member Omar Narvaez said coming out of the COVID pandemic “has caused folks to get triggered more easily and people’s wires are a little short.”

He said before people act in violence they should “halt, take a step back and decide what's causing you to be upset.”

Dallas Police Chief Eddie García said the concert in Dallas' Oak Cliff neighborhood didn’t have a permit. The police department has recommended the city create a strategy to ensure promoters follow the rules.

García assures residents his department is working to prevent violent crime. And said “arrests will be coming” to those responsible for harming residents.

"We need to ensure that we do not have fly-by night promoters that not only do not have an interest in the city of Dallas, but are interested in just simply making money and getting out of town.”

Promoters like that, García said, “leave a wake of violence.”

García said citizens can play an important part too.

"If our community sees large events that we don't know of, there's no better intelligence we can gather than from the residents of the city of Dallas,” he said.

García said DPD is pushing for stricter regulations for big gatherings and will do a better job monitoring them, as well as police officers who are working off-duty.

Seven off-duty police officers who had department approval to work at the event left before the shooting.

“I have asked DPD to work with the City Attorney’s Office to investigate creating an ordinance to ensure promoter, vendor, and site accountability; adequate public safety/security at events; and permit oversight and enforcement for violation of these standards,” said Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax in a statement.

The Dallas city council is scheduled to talk about the recent shootings and DPD strategies at the Public Safety Committee meeting Monday.

Got a tip? Alejandra Martinez is a Report For America corps member for KERA News. Email Alejandra at You can follow Alejandra on Twitter @alereports.

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Alejandra Martinez is a reporter for KERA and The Texas Newsroom through Report for America (RFA). She's covering the impact of COVID-19 on underserved communities and the city of Dallas.