Following Two Chaotic Nights, Chief Hall Used Radio Comms To Encourage DPD Play “No Games” On Dallas’ Third Day Of Protests. Her Troops Replied With Glee.
But that’s not necessarily to the Dallas Police Department’s credit. Quite the opposite.
Police scanner audio to have surfaced from that afternoon’s activity reveals a department slobbering at the opportunity for increased clashing with protesters.
But actually hearing the audio of Chief Renee Hall, already under scrutiny, addressing her department and sharing that directive over the scanner just rings differently — especially when paired with the immediate responses it elicited from the officers who listened in:
Says Chief Hall at the top of the clip, right after identifying herself by her Alpha 1 call sign: “I need the radio for a minute. Team, this is Alpha 1. Today, we are playing no games. No exceptions. Snatch ’em up. We will not allow them [the protesters] to be rowdy. Do not allow them to get out of hand.”
The recording also includes four immediate — and excited — replies from various DPD officers on duty at the time:
“Thank you, Chief!”
In addition to describing the department’s own protest response as “heroic,” the earlier-this-month-released DPD after-action report on the opening days of protests in Dallas notes that this radio address from Hall took place at 3:39 p.m. on May 31 and was meant to communicate a “zero tolerance” stance against rowdy protesting.
Interestingly, the report does point to the address as a possible source of confusion among officers about what was and wasn’t OK in the eyes of DPD leadership as far as any protest rules of engagement. According to the report, the fact that DPD also issued a department-wide statement actively detailing those very rules of engagement the very same day only further confused officers. In DPD’s own words, these conflicting communications left officers “unsure about the expectations of the Executive Command on the level of engagement that was required from them.”
Or, well, and this is important to keep in mind: So the report says.
On the scanner audio following Hall’s message, the cops who heard her sure seemed to have a pretty decent understanding of what their orders were at the time.
One doesn’t say “Git sum!” after being told to stand around on the sidelines.
Cover photo by Shane McCormick.