This week, order in Commissioners Court... and outside, too

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on February 22, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 22 at 11:45 PM

DALLAS — This week, the raised voices were outside Dallas County Commissioners Court.

Demonstrators critical of the forced departure of former Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet protested against Commissioner John Wiley Price on Tuesday.

"It's disorderly conduct and needs to be called for what it is," said Kirk Launius, one of the demonstrators.

Last week, Price made his now infamous outburst after a speaker called him a "mulluh." Price responded with this: "All of you are white. Go to hell."

Outside on the sidewalk, a few people defended Price.

"They went on Commissioner Wiley Price's job to provoke racist behavior by calling him a racist slur, and they have the audacity to protest," said Deloris Phillips.

Dallas police officers stayed close by to keep this sidewalk debate from getting violent.

"Which is worse?" Phillips asked. "His deliberate actions or the reaction? Not the response!"

"I hold a public official to a higher standard, sorry," said a man who was defending Sherbet.

The heavy security extended inside Commissioners Court, too, as people went through a metal detector and then stood in line since the meeting room filled up.

But not all citizens who came to watch or speak took sides. There were calls for unity inside.

"Stick to the issues at hand and not bicker and call names," advisised Jockton Roberts.

That advice was echoed outside by Sabrina Maxwell.

"We can't get past the black, the white, the Hispanic — any, any kind of race issue — unless we drop the race card completely," she said.

The Dallas County Fire Marshal said more than 200 people showed up for Tuesday's meeting at Commissioners Court in a room that is designed to hold 158.

The security boost paid off; there were no violent outbursts.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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