On Thursday, a grand jury declined to return an indictment against officers from the Mobile Police Department, finding them not criminally liable in the death of Jawan Dallas.
On July 2, Dallas died following an encounter with police during which he was tased multiple times. Since his death his family has called for transparency and the attempt to view footage of what occurred that night.
Mobile County District Attorney Keith Blackwood released a statement discussing the grand jury’s decision.
“This morning I received a report from the Mobile County Grand Jury of their most recent session,” Blackwood stated. “A Mobile County Grand Jury has conducted a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Jawan Dallas. Upon a thorough review of the facts of this case, and applying the law to those facts, the November 2023 Grand Jury found that the responding officers were not criminally liable for the death of Jawan Dallas. I reached out to the Dallas family this morning to let them know of the Grand Jury’s decision. Additionally, a formal letter was sent to Rob Lasky, Executive Director of Public Safety at the City of Mobile to notify him as well.”
According to AL.com Mobile County District Attorney Keith Blackwood said that an autopsy revealed Dallas’s death was the result of underlying medical conditions and not being tased. But, Blackwood did not disclose this medical condition and claimed that Dallas “initiated” the struggle with police which, “exacerbated the underlying medical conditions.”
“Mr. Dallas suffered from some serious underlying medical issues. Those issues were exacerbated by drug use,” Blackwood said. “When Mr. Dallas initiated the struggle with police, that situation also exacerbated the underlying medical conditions.”
Blackwood said toxicology reports found that Dallas had two separate drugs in his system at the time including mojo and an “amphetamine of some kind.” Despite the grand jury’s decision the family of Dallas have never seen the footage yet although they have been pleading for months since their loved one’s passing.
A few weeks ago Mobile Chief of Police Paul Prine stated at a city council meeting that the officers involved in Dallas’s tasing were back on the street and deemed not a threat to the community. Councilmember William Carroll at the time questioned how that statement would not already influence the grand jury to believe the officers were innocent. The identities of the officers have never been revealed during the process.
The grand jury met last Monday and made their decision Thursday morning.
Blackwood said that he would allow Christine Dallas, Jawan’s mother, to see the footage now that the grand jury was completed.