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anti dallas has been gripped by racial conflict for decades and the police department has frequently been blamed for much of the discord now racial tensions polarized the police force itself tonight he er rating to look at these issues in black white and blue town hall special these skyscrapers have drastically changed the face of dallas over the last twenty years unfortunately change for
the people who live here especially its minorities citizens has not been a speedy or as dramatic as the change in the skyline and a little progress that has been made has come only after demonstrations in the streets or petitions in the courts there is constant conflict in the city seems a more acute today because the fight is not limited to community groups and politicians but it's made its way inside the police department officers are divided along racial lines over issues such as affirmative action when police and wonder if other officers will protect them in battle and there are those that say they're afraid to go into certain communities the problem becomes so large that the entire community is threatened by the question we have to ask is if police are fighting each other in the
week this has been nico pitney has been i've observed the people and the issue for more than twenty years as a young reporter my first major assignment for k e r a just to cover a confrontation between the african american community and the dallas police who have long been
at the center of the city's discontent do you remember the first time we are on that basis of race thanks for his face about the icu own town thirteen with him there were what i saw you we had a ball it all the euphrates and hold you while you were you in on a play about latest little known as you won't i think i had a tape recorder you know when i was first laid eyes on a young rock base that articulately surveyed you guys i think you would remember that because as foolish tardy october nineteen seventy two this is a salute to james charles brown the young veteran the young korean veteran that had been murders shocked he also way with his hands and there he had stop and turn
even just like that tend to run through that october in the wake of too many young black men having been shot by the police lipscomb and members of the southern christian leadership conference will lead a march to city hall a mule drawn wagon bore the body of brown the dallas police tactical squad wearing their new riot gear stop the demonstrators three times topical with bullets or call it our back and that this year ago the city altogether what other problems that you see followed sides and we did that to make a point tony october's later dallas police dressed again and their riot gear overreacted to a group of white demonstrators who had come to protest for racial discrimination within the police department and all the years in between minority leader is continuously protest against the city and the police department they consider not just insensitive
racist a city they claimed would not listen to them he's beaming now witnesses dollars so you know just ingrained in the institution which ahead some wise is that will always release and just when the pie or swell and they could they had that the
barometric reading out their antennas and they can reduce a just in a very sophisticated way it would ease and then we would call he'll go about the decision reveal the pie did burst in the summer of nineteen seventy three when the most controversial police shooting in the city's history occurred igniting the closest thing to a riot dallas has ever had santos rodriguez the twelve year old boy was shot by a dallas officer as he said hand carved into police squad car in the second of two protest marches to city hall erupted police motorcycles were set afire and several downtown shop windows were shattered officer darrell cain was indicted and tried in the case and he served less than two years of a five year sentence that nineteen seventy three disturbance to please hear the house capital swat officers are standing in formation on this parking lot with
some of the demonstrators began to throw rocks and bottles the officers wanted to retaliate one had orders and then police chief wang dyson not to those orders anger the opposite and they wanted tyson out and he left becoming one in a long line of police chiefs to be forced out of office bison now owns a small ranch in central texas where he raises of all things the news and he doesn't want to talk about the dow's experience you have mixed emotions at this time and neither does really price water talk about his days as chief of police in dallas and the twenty year period between nineteen seventy two and nineteen ninety two he would be deported at least two of them into renters who served an average of less than four years although he was a veteran of the force he would quickly landed in dallas police chiefs are caught in the middle between the posturing city council a too powerful city manager
and uncompromising minority leader she has a minority community entirely new police protection and his own too often too selfish police force it's during prince's security and the gulf between the police department and the minority community grew wider with a major point of contention being a high number of police shootings of citizens but an officer gary blair was killed that year also in a confrontation with two black man these are the police officers headed for city hall they were upset because former perennial protester turned councilman al lipscomb and councilwoman by and next they'll add a legal defense one driver the man accused of killing officer gary blair had been head of the dallas police association jk ramsay for the proper action committee within
their living from boca raton oh after a very tense trial in which officer blair was portrayed as having a history of abuse and all white jury declared independent charles tell us was not guilty of blair is in order oh we hear are gathered here today to examine principal way the dallas police department's use of deadly force a congressional hearing in nineteen eighty seven on police use of force did not use the term drought nor did it stop the shootings prince came under increasing pressure to deal more harshly with abusive police officers and he did but in the last five years on fire over sixty seven people the suspended without pay anywhere from one to thirty days over a hundred and fifty letters of reprimand and emotion those statistics are not what's the officers wanted to hear the dallas police association
the oldest employee group in the department he the chief of vote of no confidence which he predicted that the community's feelings toward the police would change become more sympathetic one another police officer would be killed and he predicted that would not be long within six weeks of that prediction officer james job became the first of five officers murdered in nineteen eighty eight two weeks after jos death officer john chase was shot to death by a homeless man on a downtown dallas cycle his murder with reports that some minorities citizens have urged a man to shoot galvanized much of the city prompting demonstrations of support for police but even with the city in mourning racial divisiveness was evident when councilwoman ragsdale question why citizens have turned their car headlights on and respect for chase who was white but had not done it was jill we
need tensions mounted and billy presence was on his way out he resigning he called another former chief john byrd who left under pressure in nineteen seventy nine he said as a young that he had always wanted to achieve and he equated all jason across the he is a dj set guard jason when you finally get to watch it and it isn't just the nature of the job hi this island this way and aren't the revolving door chiefs brought him advice from florida lee well when you come in from the outside it's it's it's either a mandate or
as it is understood fact that that changes necessary as expected he wasted no time changing things meeting regularly with community leaders promoting minorities within the department and pressing charges against officers who used excessive force because of this he quickly came under attack from the dallas police association but his downfall came after filing an officer who had killed an undocumented worker vines was fired two and a half years after coming to doubt his chief assistant greg holiday tours city manager vines had asked him to lie to a special panel investigating the chief family of the party city manager jan hart decided to refer the case to the district attorney's office was charged by ins with seven counts of perjury lying to the special panel the grand jury indicted lines on only one charge a misdemeanor and a jury later found him not guilty however the search was already underway for
his replacement and binds would not get his job back i believe that the last we saw after that was indicted prior to meeting that was back in nineteen seventy two or three violent shooting of juvenile number of instances obviously occurred within that twenty year period time but could i can testify that there were a number of incidents that could've been that there should've been taken at the grand jury in essence an apple while i was there heins who has a suit pending against the city of dallas is now director of the criminal justice institute at st petersburg junior college in florida anyway dallas's news chief william rap for an hour ride from los angeles at the height of the new racial tension both outside and inside the department
calling extended protest against area tv stations over minority hiring in news coverage dallas county commissioner john wiley price and his self proclaimed warriors' big game demonstrations this fall against hiring a promotion policies of the dallas police department you make that a convenient to trouble amy with a group of people out there who says hey we're just not going to take it anymore that group is that he'd feel at the texas peace officers association organized in nineteen seventy five to represent african american officers the emergence of the t p o am three other employee groups is a distinct sign of internal racial division senior corporal monica smith an ex non heads up the mostly white dept a dallas police association the three year old dallas patrol union has led by president jacques means a police sergeant senior corporal gilbert says is president of the newly formed latino police officers association
and the dp away is headed by senior corporal james allen everywhere torture organization that each organization is reaction based is a reaction out of action for what is your initial reaction to it our imagination and we first started in eighty nine and it was really a frustration out of nineteen eighty eight last five officers are shot and killed in one year to it later i'm a car crash with seven diane orson in a twelve month period in a lot of frustrations by the officers that may be enough wasn't been done and the fact that the city is now so complex that it was really a strong need for labor organization that was tied to the national union labor organization that that would give us more clout more opportunity to achieve what we want to achieve with bp hasn't laid out an aggressive
move or more i tried really make sure there's an equal number of a special one for the murder of a police department that's what the primaries without a bass that is the reason that that match up the texas business association former first lady i'm at summit five the cozy up our ultimate goal of perkins was trying to breach to get out it's going up for a community and the police department because they had even bologna the early sixties and gets and so forth you know the police force has always been that there's the arm of the establishment the the arm to keep black people are in line and process i think that that sounds really good but the reality is that by the mere numbers of our members we represent officers the problem is that we have to represent them at entry in total we cannot just make decisions on what is good for a small group today all the groups have their
complaints with the department and have become more aggressive in their approach recently gained a city in addition to becoming a key issue what your demonstrations led by commissioner price has filed a number of suits against the city and the department alleging racial discrimination a state district judge recently ruled the police department promotion practices for scientists ron here to african americans get off the new offices acknowledged that discriminatory practice i didn't like officers are disciplined more often and more severely than whites the city council voted to appeal the judge's decision it was b but last november the gp la members resolve to fight even harder and to be more visible their keynote speaker former judge mary ellen hicks
echo their feelings so how thank you days later the teepee always start observing and began to join the picket lines and to call for national boycott of doubts to some degree the teepee away he was using similar tactics as the dallas police association and the dow's patrol moves you in a few weeks earlier those two organizations and the latino group that called a march and rally they protested
wrath this decision to release the suspect arrested at a demonstration outside the selfie substation rather than to try to talk them out of the market but only the hispanic association withdrew jack situation worsened the following weekend city councilman dan hicks was arrested after going to a protest led by commission tries to in his words he refused to be taken after crossing the police barricade a dozen different than just an observer closely with the color of milestones when i couldn't believe that the maintenance and sergeants who were dealing with me after i've been out there with an implied too that they're getting a whole
new possibilities through three time to get this now in retrospect was a good idea yet outdo again nobody's going to make me out of my lawful office they would have done it like that and not a position to be able to thank you at a city council public safety committee meeting the police chief apologize to hicks animals charges are being dropped in return it's agreed not to sue a call for the justice department investigation that compromise cause commission tries to call heads a sellout he knew had ready the center that tells them done hicks says he compromised did you knock on the sellout sure i mean we see are at that moment was also a common well below the means is that when you come out for yourself but they whip cole someone picks another public
official and forgotten about what's happening john dau was so as acute african american mixed american citizen out there because apparently that mentality is a yes yes it's you know is a little thing and elicited a bit about the commission and what i say about the commission is that i share in his frustration for the city mayor that we still have a divided city and hours and part of that is due to the fact that we have a divided police department which is so that's not true but i would suggest that in fact in terms of a racial tensions and hours we haven't solved it would make an enormous forest and have flown to go over this last year and will make more ninety nine three very sharply zest truth his truth is smart possible culprits for gravity this explosive situation that we're
out what happened is the situation has gotten so bad in fact in one week we had citizens and police officers alike marching in the street that's a clear indication that all of those groups have lost confidence that they can work things out at city hall councilman larry duncan says in the council's public safety committee in recent weeks the heads of the four police organizations have been voicing their complaints to intimidate but none has made the committee or the council will address their concerns you screaming yelling if it's politically convenient we address that if it is not done with this regard it in i thought that the plan here was to change that to cut off that environment for employee groups have common concerns they disagree on some major issues the gp all a once an aggressive affirmative action program a police citizens review board with subpoena power and a residency requirement for police since two thirds of dallas officers lives outside the city
the gpa and the dp you are in opposition to those proposals as currently outlined plus the union was collective bargaining at a latino group was more hispanics on the force at all levels they all feel their concerns fall on deaf ears which is why they have become more vocal and more active i think it's very unprofessional and police officers have to take their problems to the street and i think there are other productive ways to solve problems i don't know that brahms of insolvent that i'm not going to be pushed into an antiquated not get my corporation is the demand side another don't respond well the publishers why poor handling of protesters at the south the substation the chief did respond he re shuffled the top command staff replacing the deputy chief in charge
with your candidate an officer with a better reputation in the department and the community always seen as is a shuffling of individuals who probably one place and the other moves someplace else may just because you move people around you not begin the cure the problem i didn't expect the changes to please them and i'm not sure i expected them to please it to me and i think in time the committee will be very pleased are they needed a more cohesive management team in southeast they needed and more productive placed a bomb in there i think they have that now and as they get to know the lyndon new people and we've added there i think they will appreciate the changes i made were very positive change in the last year the enduring half the police chief has taken strong discipline approach and said that any officer that it uses is not that we're hearing all the city council at long last at the beginning of this year changed our civil service board so that we backed the chico we've increased the affirmative action plan thirty four percent of the new hires in
dallas texas in nineteen ninety two are african american and twenty six percent of the new hires nineteen ninety two are hispanic which means the diversity of the command structure of the officers from singapore calling up to that insisted she chief reflect the diversity of the city so the changes that have happened within this department in between the problem in the public unless two years or overwhelming in staggering in their size despite any changes they're still much comfort within the police department and the city a high level of tension and a great deal of impatience although the mayor the police chief and the heads of the employee groups all have made their police officers will serve the community well despite their differences i wore it i wore in the causes in the midst of this kind of confusion that many doubt police chiefs have packed their bags and left and there have been d'souza she wind down season two i was i had taken this job them either
Black White and Blue
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KERA (Dallas, Texas)
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Program Description
The Dallas police department and how racism is creating conflict within the department.
Program Description
Notable people interviewed inclues, Al Lipscomb, Dallas Mayor Pro-Tem, Marvin Crenshaw, Community Activist, Al Lipscomb, Community Activist.
Segment Description
Partial Edit with some missing footage.
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Politics and Government
Consumer Affairs and Advocacy
Racial conflict and how it affects the police department
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Host: Sanders, Bob Ray
Interviewee: Price, John Wiley
Interviewee: Lipscomb, Al
Interviewee: Allen, James
Interviewee: Smith, Monica
Panelist: Means, Jack Sgt
Producing Organization: KERA
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: cpb-aacip-b552f7f4d44 (Filename)
Format: 1 inch videotape: SMPTE Type C
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Black White and Blue,” 1993-01-21, KERA, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 28, 2022,
MLA: “Black White and Blue.” 1993-01-21. KERA, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 28, 2022. <>.
APA: Black White and Blue. Boston, MA: KERA, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from