Attorneys representing the family of Jawan Dallas officially announced in a press conference Thursday that they submitted their claim to sue the City of Mobile and officers involved in Dallas’s death.
Jawan Dallas was a 36-year-old Black man tased by officers with the Mobile Police Department on July 2 and died following the tasing.
Attorneys representing the family now include a number of nationally recognized civil rights lawyers. They include Harry Daniels, Lee Merritt, Ben Crump, John Burris and Roderick Van Daniel. During the press conference, attorneys were joined by Bishop William Barber,
“We will be very clear, Jawan Dallas, and we state today as we stated back then was an innocent bystander,” Daniels said. “[Dallas] had nothing to do with attempted trespass, not a burglary because the 911 call is very clear, this wasn’t a burglary. This is somebody that’s maybe touching my gate and a man is dead.”
The claim outlines and describes the accounts given by eye-witnesses and says the only alleged crime that took place was alleged trespassing. The claim says that, “Mr. Dallas died as a result of being beaten and/or tased by a member(s) of the Mobile Police Department.”
Daniels said that he wants to be clear the current claim is for the state claims and he plans to file a federal suit very soon.
Crump asked MPD that if they have nothing to hide why not show the video. Barber reiterated Crump’s question by asking what is the use of body cameras if the video will not be released.
“The other thing we want to make clear is that what’s the need of having body cameras if you’re not going to use them,” Barber said. “It’s a contradiction of why body cameras have been required in the first place.”
Barber also pointed out that the incident was not about race but rather the police killing innocent citizens after having received that “authority from the people.”
APR asked Daniels if the mayor of Mobile, Sandy Stimpson, had reached out to the family or offered his condolences. Daniels said that the mayor has not contacted the family.
Dallas’s funeral was held Thursday after the press conference and the eulogy was given by Barber.