Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine held a press conference Friday to provide an update on the ongoing investigation into the death of Jawan Dallas and to address what he called “misinformation” and “false narratives.” Attorneys representing Dallas’ family also released a response to the remarks made by Prine during the press conference.
Dallas was killed last week following a fatal encounter with police after being tased by Mobile police.
On July 2, officers with the Mobile Police Department were called to the Plantation Mobile Home Park due to an alleged robbery occurring. According to 911 transcripts and audio, the caller said someone was trying to hop the fence into his yard and described the individual as a Black homeless man and was wearing red pants or shorts and a hat. The caller then tells the dispatcher that the individual was moving towards Lot 27.
According to Prine, two officers arrived on the scene and went to Lot 27 where they found Dallas and another individual in Dallas’ car. The officers asked Dallas for his identification card to which Dallas evaded the inquiry, Prine said.
Prine then said officers asked Dallas to exit the vehicle and then Dallas immediately attempted to flee. That is when a scuffle began and an officer eventually deployed a taser to subdue Dallas that had no effect and Dallas even tried to grab the taser. But Prine stated the officer was able to regain control of the taser and deploy it again and finally arrested Dallas after he was subdued.
Prine said that after Dallas was arrested he told officers he had asthma and couldn’t breathe so the officers rolled Dallas on his back to open his airway. According to Prine, it took over 21 minutes before Dallas began experiencing a “medical emergency.” Emergency Medical Services arrived and administered aid to Dallas after he collapsed but Dallas was transported to a local hospital and died, Prine said.
Harry Daniels and Roderick Van Daniels, attorneys representing Dallas’ family, issued a response quickly following the press conference. In their press release the attorneys stated that the only crime that took place was misdemeanor criminal trespassing not a burglary. The response also refuted Prine’s statements regarding Dallas’ unwillingness to provide his identification to officers.
“Chief Prine also took great pains to argue that all of this happened because Mr. Dallas refused to give the responding officers his ID. That is particularly disturbing because, according to Title 15, Chapter 5, Article 2 of Alabama State Law, Mr. Dallas was not required to give officers his ID. In fact, trying to force someone to do so is grossly negligent and directly violates the law.”
According to the statute mentioned, an officer may demand of “him his name, address and an explanation of his actions,” if they find someone suspicious. It does not state they have to provide an identification card and Prine does not explicitly state whether Dallas provided his name and actions to officers only focusing on his identification card.
Prine was also questioned by journalists if he saw an officer strike Dallas to which he said an “officer did strike Mr. Dallas,” but did not know how many times Dallas was struck. Prine repeatedly referenced preliminary autopsy reports indicating there was no blunt force trauma or bruising to imply that officers did not beat Dallas.
Prior to the press conference APR spoke to a key eye-witness who reiterated that he did not see Dallas resisting and did not see him attempt to run. The eyewitness also indicated that Dallas was exhibiting signs of medical issues and was grabbing at his chest prior to the incident with the police. When asked if the police version of events lines up with what he saw he said, “It does not.”