Dallas’ New Mayor Failed To Even Mention Monday Morning’s Downtown Shooting During His Inauguration Speech Just A Few Hours Later. How Is That Even Possible?
On Monday morning, 22-year-old Brian Issack Clyde was killed by police after opening fire at the Earle Cabell Federal Building in Downtown Dallas — just about a mile from where Eric Johnson was waiting to be sworn in for his first term as Dallas’ newly elected mayor.
The shooting came just as the city was coming to terms with its biggest homicide spike since the 1990s, so you’ll have to forgive us for not being willing to write off a gunman armed with five 30-round magazines as business as usual.
Maybe we just lack Johnson’s confidence. As the Dallas Morning News‘ editorial board noted in a fairly scathing early indictment of the man it had endorsed in this year’s mayoral election, Johnson failed to alter his prepared inauguration remarks on Monday and even once mention the morning’s shooting — or to applaud the first-responders who so quickly arrived on the scene to restore order and take out Clyde.
While his remarks indeed included plans to make public safety one of five agenda priorities during his time in office, his speech mostly centered around the same talking points he regularly rattled off throughout his campaign. Once more, he echoed his desire to restore civility to City Hall — because, lest there was any doubt, that too is apparently part of his five-point plan.
But if Johnson’s idea of civility is to sweep our city’s very real warts and issues under the rug, perhaps he should already start looking at ways to improve his policy.
We already know that Johnson was slow to call Dallas’ rising crime rate a public safety crisis — and, fine, if semantics surrounding the word “crisis” aren’t a point he is willing to concede, then so be it. But not paying lip service to a danger of public safety, and instead acting as if a very real public safety concern didn’t happen just a mere handful hours before he officially accepted his new job, then it should be pointed out that his definition of the word “civility” is questionable to say the least.
To his minor credit, Johnson did eventually release a statement later in the day commending local law enforcement‘s role in taking down Clyde. While we join the new mayor in commending the Dallas Police Department’s rapid response — it was no doubt paramount to keeping a single person from becoming a victim of Clyde’s gunfire — we would have found it far more becoming of Johnson to step up to the plate, go off script and, at the earliest possible opportunity, acknowledge the bravery of those who stepped in to keep Dallas safe.
Johnson may be brand new at his gig, but it seems he could already stand to learn a thing or two from Dallas cops about rapid responses (really, of all people) to the call of duty.
We already knew that Johnson doesn’t necessarily like hearing negative feedback, which, hey, who does? But given his propensity for blocking critics on Twitter throughout the mayoral campaign — hey, it’s one path to civility, we suppose — we were already iffy about Johnson being able to walk the walk. Considering his inability to verbalize what Dallasites needed to hear on a day when all eyes in the city were already on him, we now find ourselves legitimately worried that he quite literally can’t even talk the talk.
Here’s hoping we’re wrong, though. Here’s hoping Johnson learns from the mistake he already made in Day One of his new gig. And, for good measure, here’s hoping our new mayor doesn’t block us on social media for having the audacity to point all this out.