Community leaders get first look at police beating tape

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on September 15, 2010 at 6:59 PM

DALLAS — Late Wednesday afternoon, a select group of community leaders got their first look at the dashcam tape showing a police chase suspect being beaten by Dallas police officers on the evening of September 5.

The Dallas Police Department summoned them to headquarters in an effort to be transparent, so they could see first-hand what the rookie officers are accused of.

The recording left local leaders at a loss for words.

"I am... because here's a kid that's not putting up any fight. They're not threatened by this guy at all," said community activist Rev. Ronald Wright. "They immediately get out and go to beating on this kid."

Wright viewed the disturbing images just before Dallas police convened a meeting of community leaders.

The video shows Dallas police rookies as they first spot Andrew Collins riding his motorcycle on a sidewalk in South Dallas. He is seen making an illegal turn, and then drives off as police attempt to pull him over, running stop signs and fleeing at speeds up to 60 mph, as recorded by the squad car's telemetry.

But what officers do when they catch Collins stalled out a short time later is what sickens leaders.

"We have to make an example of these officers and set this example for the Dallas Police Department," Wright said. "This is what's going to happen when you do something like this. You're going to get fired. You're going to get indicted."

Mayor Tom Leppert even brought up the scandal in his State of the City address Wednesday.

"That's not appropriate. Nobody will condone that," he said. "In fact, we will take action that will send a clear signal that that is not what's going to happen in the city of Dallas."

The video shows one rookie striking Collins five times with his baton. His partner punches the suspect several times.

It is a damaging video and a blow to the city that has yet to be measured.

But Mayor Leppert and local leaders agree that the action of the officers depicted on tape is not reflective of the entire police force.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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