DPJC Position Statement
DPJC Statement On Unaccompanied Minors in Dallas
The Dallas Peace and Justice Center welcomes the thousands of unaccompanied minors who have arrived at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Downtown Dallas, Texas. We open our hearts and city to these children ages 15-17 who are fleeing dangerous conditions in their home countries to seek safety and opportunity. If needed, we stand ready to provide humanitarian aid and information about legal, social and educational resources to the newly arrived school-aged boys and to advocate for their well-being.
We appeal to elected officials, Congress, and the Biden/Harris administration to implement immigration legislation and policies that protect unaccompanied minors and childhood arrivals, reunite families and end family separation, and repatriate deported veterans.
We urge the implementation into law of the New Way Forward Act, reintroduced by United States Representatives Garcia, Jayapal, Pressley, and Bass to address injustice and structural racism in the U.S. immigration system (https://bit.ly/38UWhxQ).
Santos Rodriguez: A Proclamation
July 10th - Dr. Garcia introduced a proclamation to keep the memory of Santos Rodriguez alive on the 47th anniversary of his murder by Dallas Police.
(DALLAS, TX - June 10, 2020)
DPJC Executive Director, Hadi Jawad addressed the Commissioner's Court after Dr. Garcia's proclamation was introduced:
"Good morning Judge, Honorable Commissioners, Honorable Dr. Garcia.
Thank you for keeping the memory of Santos Rodriguez alive. It has been 47 years since that tragic day but for many the memory of that sad day is still vivid and clear. Many continue to mourn a life that was cut short and still wonder why a 12-year-old boy sleeping in his bed at 2 o’clock in the morning was not safe from those who had sworn to protect him.
Much has happened since that fateful day and although new laws have been passed, police officers have received many types of trainings, tragedies continue to mount here in Dallas and across the country. In retrospect it appears that legislation and trainings only go so far and a deeper change, something more profound is needed. Perhaps what we need is a change in culture, A fundamental change in the way we view each other.
Stories have a way of changing culture. As responsible officials and leaders in our community, please continue to keep the memory of Santos alive. But please also consider what else could be done to tell this story to a new generation of young people. Could the story of Santos Rodriguez become a part of the curriculum of every school in Dallas County? Could the commissioners declare July 24 Santos Rodriguez Day in Dallas County in perpetuity? Could a major street In uptown or downtown be named in his honor? Could a school be named in his memory?
At the 47th anniversary of Santos’ brutal murder by Dallas Police approaches a question continues to hang over our heads: what can we do to make sure this child, this son of Dallas, who belongs to all of us now, did not die in vain?On Saturday July 25 at 9 AM There will be a caravan from Pike Park to Oakland Cemetery for a graveside service. Being mindful of concerns for the COVID-19 pandemic we are asking folks to remain in their cars.
Thank you Judge Jenkins and thank you Dr. Garcia."
DPJC Position Statement
DPJC Statement on Demilitarizing Local Law Enforcement
A protester walks past Nebraska Military Police in Omaha on June 2, 2020
Photo by Sgt. Lisa Crawford
(7/1, Dallas, TX) The Dallas Peace and Justice Center (DPJC) applauds efforts by lawmakers in Washington to restrict the transfer of military grade weapons to law enforcement under federal program 1033 that allows the Defense Department to provide surplus equipment- at no cost- to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
Leading the effort is Congressman Ruben Gallejo, (D-AZ) who has stated that, “Local law enforcement officers shouldn’t be confronting civilians with weapons designed for combat. A militarized police force makes our communities less safe and heightens the growing divide between police officers and the citizens they are sworn to protect." On the Senate side, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) has reintroduced the bipartisan 'Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act" to establish limitations and create greater transparency to offensive military weapons transfers. According to Sen. Schatz, "weapons of war do not belong in our local police department and should never be used against American people."
According to the Friends Committee on National Legislation the Pentagon has transferred, "$6 billion in equipment since the program’s creation in 1991, when transfers were designated for counter drug activities. A reported 79,288 assault rifles, 205 grenade launchers,11,959 bayonets, armored personnel carriers, and mine resistant vehicles (MRAPS) have been handed over to law enforcement agencies across the nation.".
Militarization has permeated law enforcement and has given rise to a warrior cop mentatilty.
Studies have shown that the use of this military gear leads to more police violence and outsized targeting of communities of color. Now, as bipartisan calls for broad police reform grow louder, some members of congress are calling for legislation to restrict or eliminate the program altogether.
Roger Arnold, co-chair of the Human Rights Committee of the DPJC said, "we urge Dallas Police Department, and all law enforcement agencies in Dallas County to refuse weapons transfers under the 1033 program and invest the savings in underserved communities. We also urge the N. Texas Congressional delegation to support legislation proposed by Rep. Gallejo and Sen. Schatz to end the militarization of law enforcement."
Testimony: Police Heavy Handedness
Testimony given at the Dallas City Hall online meeting to address recent Dallas police heavy handedness against peaceful protesters.
Hadi Jawad, Executive Director of Dallas Peace & Justice Center testified at a online public meeting of the Dallas City Council. The meeting solicited community input into how Dallas Police Department mishandled peaceful protests in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
"Mr. Mayor, the Dallas Peace and Justice Center CELEBRATES and APPLAUDS the youth in Dallas and across the nation for leading the way at this watershed moment in our history. This is how societal change occurs and we are grateful to our young people for shining a light in these dark times.
We IMPLORE the Dallas Police Department and Dallas City officials to work with MOTHERS AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY founded by a grieving mother Collette Flanagan who lost her son Clinton Allen, and Sara Mokuria who lost her father, to police violence. They have put forward a well reasoned and common sense 10-point plan that provides real solutions to policing problems in our communities.
We are HOPEFUL and PRAYERFUL that we will witness a change in culture in our nation because 'legislation' and 'trainings' only go so far!
We CONDEMN the threats by President Trump to use the military against peaceful protesters. His statement that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" is abhorrent and irresponsible and must be rejected by all, including law enforcement and military personnel. We HOPE every single elected official and public servant will vehemently oppose the president's threat to deploy the military against peaceful protesters practicing their first amendment right.
Finally, we URGE City Hall to refuse military grade weapons under Federal Program 1033 from the federal government and immediately cancel all trainings of Dallas police under that program."
Thank you Mr. Mayor.
DPJC Position Statement
DPJC Statement On Responses To The COVID-19 Outbreak In Dallas County
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
Hadi Jawad Executive Director, Dallas Peace and Justice Center (214) 636-7011
As the corona virus spreads in our communities in Texas, we urge elected officials to ensure that human and civil rights of all Texans remains a top priority as state, county and city officials deal with an epic public health emergency.
We urge city, county and state officials to conduct policies in a manner that protects public health while ensuring civil rights and liberties are not compromised.
We urge that government and public health officials be mindful of the following suggestions:
1. It is imperative the public is kept up to date about information and developments regarding the COVID-19 VIRUS that are based on scientific evidence. This information should be relayed on all media platforms in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and other languages frequently spoken here.
2. Vulnerable segments of society MUST be protected.This means populations without health insurance or access to medical care, those who are incarcerated, and those who are homeless.
3 Testing should be made available to immigrants who might otherwise be afraid to make themselves known to authorities because of fear of deportation. Hospitals should be declared safe zones where no immigration laws will be enforced.
Public health, safety and civil liberties are mutually inclusive, and must be protected simultaneously.
Hadi Jawad Executive Director
Dallas Peace and Justice Center