More Peaceful Protests. Demonstrators marked the seventh straight day of protests with a peaceful march and a silent gathering at City Hall. Police are now leaving the riot gear back at the office, with cruisers blocking traffic so the protesters can walk the city peacefully. Monday seems so far away now, when 674 people marched up the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and met a line of officers that responded by firing chemical smoke and sponge rounds. Chief U. Reneé Hall about-faced on charging those protesters, but maintains that the mass detainments were necessary to protect the marchers from traffic. City Manager T.C. Broadnax has the money quote: “In any form, racism is the enemy — not the protesters.” At around midnight, a department spokesman sent out an email to announce a change to the department’s use of force policy. It’s called a “duty to intervene” and requires officers “to either stop, or attempt to stop, another employee when force is being inappropriately applied or is no longer required.” When George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, three other officers were watching and standing guard while Derek Chauvin held his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Hall hopes the policy will prevent a similar situation here.
The Pandemic Is Still Here. It’s easy to forget, as restaurants open to 75 percent their capacity and bars welcome in half of what they normally can. Yesterday was a record day of new cases—285—and Dallas County added just one death. That timeline dovetails nicely with Memorial Day weekend. There are currently about 300 COVID-19 patients in Dallas County hospitals. Here’s the county’s statement: “Suspected COVID-19 hospitalizations, ICU Admissions, and ER visits continue to remain flat in Dallas County according to information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council.” County Judge Clay Jenkins is urging protesters to stop by the American Airlines Center or the Ellis Davis Field House to get tested. The county is “working on test sites very near where you are located,” he adds. The state has now had eight straight days of increases of COVID-19 cases.
The Heat Is Here. On Saturday, the high will reach 98. The heat won’t be relenting much the other days, either. Drink lots of water, folks.