Mobile police killed an unarmed 36-year-old Black man, Jawan Dallas, by tasing him to death according to attorneys representing the family. The family is now calling for the police to release body camera footage of the fatal encounter.
The lethal incident allegedly occurred this past Sunday on July 2 in the Plantation Mobile Home Park. Police say they were responding to a report of a burglary in progress at approximately 9:45 p.m. The Mobile Police Department claim Dallas was one of the suspected burglars.
However, an eye witness statement cited by attorneys representing Dallas’ family said that Dallas was at least 100 yards from the scene of the alleged burglary and was tazed immediately by the officers as he tried to exit his vehicle.
The eye witness said that after Dallas was tased he fell and was calling for help while grasping and complaining of chest pains. But despite this officers tased him again until Dallas was no longer moving, according to a witness report.
Harry Daniels, a national civil rights attorney, will be representing Dallas’ family.
“Jawan Dallas wasn’t even near the scene but these officers decided that he was a suspect and tazed him until he died,” said Daniels in a press release. “This isn’t speculation. This is an eye-witness statement and if the Mobile Police Department wants to dispute they need to release the body cam video. Jawan Dallas wasn’t a threat and shouldn’t have even been a suspect. But they killed him anyway.”
In a press release MPD claims that Dallas fled from officers, who have not been named, and was eventually tased for physically resisting the officers. According to the release officers arrived at the scene and came across two male individuals, which is when Dallas immediately attempted to flee. The officers attempted to catch Dallas but he resisted leading to a struggle and one officer using his taser against Dallas to “gain compliance.”
The release stated that the first deployment of the taser had no effect on the subject and Dallas attempted to take the taser away from the officer leading to a struggle for control. That is when the officer regained control of the taser and deployed it again allowing the officers to arrest Dallas.
Then MPD asserts that medical personnel were called to the scene and Dallas was later transported to the hospital where he died.
“The subject experienced a medical emergency and was transported to the hospital. He was later pronounced deceased at the hospital. We are currently awaiting several reports as a part of this investigation to assist with determining the exact cause of death.”
Interestingly the press release does not state whether Dallas was armed or not.
In another incident earlier this year MPD shot and killed a young Black man as they executed a no-knock search warrant at his home and again refused to release body cam footage. According to Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine Kordell Jones, leapt from a rear window completely nude with an AR-style weapon during the encounter. That is when a SWAT member shot and killed 24 year old Kordell.
The family of Kordell disputed the claims by MPD and Prine immediately in the aftermath of the shooting saying that Kordell never had a gun. In a previous interview I asked Prine if MPD would be releasing any body cam footage and he said they would not be releasing any footage. When a follow up question was asked of who pays for the body cameras Prine did not answer and then said the question was “adversarial”.
Body cameras are publicly-funded by taxpayers, yet taxpayers are often unable to see the footage they pay for.
Dallas’ family will hold a press conference today, July 6, at 10:00 a.m CT in front of the Mobile City Hall. Speakers include members of Dallas’ family, Daniels and Mobile NAACP President Robert Clopton.