An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
Police shot and killed a man in south Dallas on Tuesday, prompting a tense situation with hundreds of angry, emotional neighbors.
The shooting happened at about 5:30 p.m. at a known drug house in the 5300 block of Bourquin Street while, according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown, police were responding to a kidnapping call.
Brown said four suspects fled the house via various means, including by breaking windows. He said officers saw a gun on a table in the house and that crack cocaine was also present.
According to Brown, eight-year DPD veteran Officer Brian Rowden chased James Harper, fighting the suspect three times. Rowden was losing fight and was exhausted when, according to Brown, Harper said, “You’re going to have to kill me.”
Rowden feared for his life and fatally shot Harper, Brown said.
Ok, what we have here is a criminal, found with drugs and a gun. The guy runs, fights with the cop, three times, and cop fearing for his life, shot said criminal. Now, not knowing why they grappled 3 times, whether the cop couldn’t get the cuffs on, while being physically assaulted, the only question I have…what’s the fuss?
Word of the shooting quickly spread through the neighborhood as family members and the curious rushed to the scene, eventually amassing in the hundreds and prompting police to call for additional crowd control, including SWAT. In fact, officers armed with pepper ball guns and shields forced the crowd back amid reports of people trying to cut through fences to gain access to the shooting scene.
The slain man’s inconsolable mother and enraged father confronted police and media at the scene. Both said their 31-year-old son was unarmed and fleeing police when he was shot in the back.
“No reason for him to be shot like a dog. If he’s running away from them, ain’t no reason,” James White said.
I can’t imagine the grief of losing a child. I pray I never have to. I’ve no doubt that these parents are mourning the loss of their son. That being said, I also have to wonder why these parents didn’t seem to care that their son was involved in criminal activity? That being involved in such activities, wouldn’t they realize that sooner or later, there would be consequences? Is it possible they could have captured the criminal later? Using up valuable man hours hunting for him? Yes, it is possible. But the officer also said he feared for his life. Maybe the guy didn’t have a gun, maybe he tossed it, and it just hasn’t been found yet, but obviously, he wasn’t going down without a fight. Continuing battling with what was possibly a drug crazed attacker was not in the best interest of the officer. Anyone being killed is a tragedy, but this is one that could have been prevented. All he had to do was stop.
However, Brown downplayed that possibility. “We don’t believe any of the family members witnessed anything,” Brown said, adding that family members make similar claims “on almost every shooting.”
Even 20 years ago, South Dallas was a place to avoid. Considering the increase the drug ‘wars’, and the current mob mentality, I’d say nothing has improved. For a community to play victim on a regular basis makes me question the community. If there is criminal activity, and the community either closes their eyes, or are willing participants, I’d have to say that ‘victim’ cry is past worn out, and totally laughable.
Still, the chief admitted that several questions remained and that Harper might not have been armed when he was killed.
“We’re also not able to find a gun that Mr. Harper possessed,” Brown said. “We do not have a gun.”
The chief also said he was not certain that any of the responding officers, including Rowden, were ever fired upon.
According to Brown, Harper has a lengthy criminal record that includes multiple charges of drug possession and manufacturing, assault, evading arrest, and more.
It isn’t always necessary for a gun to be present for someone to fear for their life. Pipes, bricks, boards, knives….they can be used as weapons, and do grievous bodily harm…especially when wielded by a drugged out thug. This wasn’t an innocent kid, who just happened to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time. This was pretty much a career criminal, according to his record. Perhaps his parents should grieve that he took a wrong turn in life, and they did little, if anything, to stop it.
Immediately following the shooting and throughout most of the evening, a chaotic crowd swelled, diminished and regrouped. At one point, a fight seemed to break out.
Brown said much of the drama could be due to a family feud in the neighborhood. In fact, he said, a 911 call that initially drew police to the scene was likely bogus and an intentional, retaliatory act.
Despite the explosive situation, there were no reports of arrests or injuries.
Honestly, I’m quite surprised there were no injuries or arrests. Whoever made the 911 call should certainly have been arrested. Since there have been no more updates to the story, perhaps the mob calmed down, and went home. Then again, there may be retaliations in the not too distant future, and we’ll see destruction of property, etc., from one of those mob type gatherings we’ve seen too many of in recent years.