Local News

Leading Off (5/29/20)

It's a beautiful morning.

Black Dallasites Hit Hard By COVID-19. In late March, the Rev. Dr. Michael Waters of Abundant Life AME Church in Dolphin Heights knew how that COVID-19 was to likely hit black communities especially hard in Dallas. So did Dr. Brian Williams, who’s helping County Judge Clay Jenkins with the equity piece in the response to the virus. I wrote about both, when cases were trickling in from these communities compared to their more affluent counterparts, likely because of poor access to testing. NPR gave us the data we need to see this, detailing a concentration of testing sites in wealthier neighborhoods. And as The Dallas Morning News reported yesterday, infection rates are highest in communities of color: “Most of the cases are in the southern half of Dallas, in neighborhoods that have suffered decades of neglect and disparity.”

Dallas Police Oversight Board To Begin Meeting ‘In the Very Near Future.’ Wednesday’s City Council meeting kicked off with a long list of callers who vocalized frustration that standing committee meetings had begun again but the police oversight board had not. City Manager T.C. Broadnax said this yesterday when I emailed him for comment:

The Citizen Police Oversight Board and other advisory boards play a critical role to the community. I am in the process of working with staff from my office, who will need to provide the administrative and technical support for various advisory boards that would also like to meet virtually. I will provide an update to Dallas residents and the City Council on the re-initiation of the various advisory boards in the very near future.

The News went deeper, finding that Broadnax had previously denied their request to meet, noting that the refreshed board was getting ready to take its first actions right when the coronavirus stopped it in its tracks. In January, we spoke to the city’s first-ever police monitor, Tonya McClary, who came to Dallas from New Orleans. We’re eager to see her work play out in these meetings.

Sisters of Botham Jean and Atatiana Jefferson Form Group to Protest Police Brutality. “Sisters of the Movement” has a local tie in its organizers. They started the group after George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis. They’ll be advocating for federal legislation aimed at curbing and investigating police violence.

Nice Weekend Ahead. As I type this, it’s a sunny 66 degrees. It’ll get into the mid-80s this afternoon. That’s about what you can expect on Saturday and Sunday. So get out and enjoy it—away from others.

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