Marchers protest Dixon Circle police shooting



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Posted on August 4, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 4 at 9:08 PM

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DALLAS — Protesters held up signs and yelled at police. They marched around Dixon Circle to get residents to join them.

No one did.

They were expressing their anger in the wake of the July 25 death of James Harper, a convicted drug dealer who was shot after fighting with a Dallas police officer.

They said they wanted Dallas police off their streets.

"If we make enough of an impression with as many people as we can, it will say something," protester Amanda Berry said.

The protesters included representatives from Occupy Dallas, the New Black Panther Party and a couple of other anti-police groups.

Bobby Johnson, one of the New Black Panther Party members, was asked about the wisdom of keeping police out of a crime-ridden neighborhood.

"I never said they shouldn't arrest... I agree," Johnson said. "If you are doing wrong you should be locked up — but killing unarmed people is not going to work."

None of the protesters even live in the Dixon Circle neighborhood. Residents of the area said they don't think these types of protests are accomplishing anything.

Calvin Carter has lived in Dixon Circle since 1966. "In order to be safely in your home and secure, we will always need the police," he said. "What we need to do is learn to work with the police department."

Melinda Bell, with the city's cultural affairs office, agrees, and says there aren't enough programs to help build up the community.

"That’s why you have the upset things, and the people have to depend on drugs for their living, the mothers don't have help or assistance, and they don't' have parenting classes," Bell said.

Residents say marching around the streets isn't going to get them what they really need — solutions.