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Dallas Reacts To Unrest In Ferguson, Missouri

The ripples of tension that began in Ferguson, Missouri 12 days ago are being felt in North Texas.

There have been town hall meetings, heated exchanges and several protests.

 There’s one question that’s been asked again and again… could it happen here?

“We have a history of bad relationships with certain communities. We have some very horrible incidents that have happened that are not forgotten. Even if it doesn’t happen in your community. When another one happens in another community, all those memories come back as if it happened yesterday, says Dallas Police Chief David Brown.”

While the events played out in Missouri, Brown’s been a vocal presence here in North Texas. There wasn’t a strong police presence at a demonstration in downtown Dallas Wednesday night. There was a lot of passion.

Delena Evans moved from St. Louis to Dallas two years ago.

“I’m here to support justice for Mike Brown. Don’t shoot, don’t kill. It has been going on for a long time,” she says.

This time, Evans says the tragedy hit a little too close to home.

“It’s real personal. I have three sons that are 24, 26 and 29 and the travesty is just too close,” says Evans. “That could have been my son.”

Credit Pablo Pena / KERA News
Delena Evans moved to Dallas from St. Louis two years ago. She has three sons living in Missouri.

Chief Brown understands the pain that comes along with shootings like the one in Ferguson. In fact he helmed a town hall meeting earlier this week that put Dallas police shootings in the spotlight. More than once, the glare turned on him.

“But I’d much rather have a group of a couple a hundred folks shouting at me in a church than I would on a protest line after a police shooting because I’ve never talked to them, I’ve never listened to them, I’ve never had a meeting with them,” says Brown.

Shouting, Brown says, is the first step to healing.

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.