DALLAS — City Councilman Kevin Felder held an information session at a church in Buckner Terrace on Friday, attempting to explain his innocence in an alleged crash for which he’s now facing criminal charges.
Felder is accused of hitting a disabled teen who was riding a motorized scooter and leaving the scene.
“We have all of the evidence to prove my innocence,” Felder told the small crowd gathered in Stronghold Christian Church.
There were no cameras allowed inside, and organizers say the church did not want anyone to use audio or visual recording.
"It's a big diversion from taking care of people in the district," Bucker Terrace resident Daniel Wood said as he prepared to enter the meeting.
Concerned residents from across District 7 showed up to hear what Felder had to say about the February 13th accident that happened on Malcolm X Boulevard near Al Lipscomb Way in South Dallas.
"I'm coming, not for the questions, but actually for the truth,” Joppa resident Shalondria Galimore said. “I want to give him a fair opportunity to tell his side of the story."
Felder began the meeting with a brief statement.
"The young man was zig-zagging down Malcolm X, so no one could get past him," Felder told the crowd.
The Councilman claims he blew his horn several times, but got a lot of expletives and disrespect from the teen.
“He became more and more agitated," Felder said. "Took his backpack off and unzipped it. That's when I took off!"
Felder’s attorney Pete Schulte responded to most of the residents’ questions during the meeting, which lasted about one half hour.
"We're trying to really limit the possibility of this case being tried in the media," Schulte said.
The attorney spent time questioning the credibility of an eyewitness who called police. Schulte was also suggesting Dallas Police Department investigators mishandled the case from the beginning. He claimed Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall inserted herself into the case by calling Felder about an accident which the councilman claims never happened.
“His lawyer talked the whole time,” said Claudia Fowler of Joppa. “We wanted to hear from you!"
Others who attended the meeting say they were satisfied with Felder’s attempts at addressing the controversy.
"We got the answers we needed," Margaret Brinson said, "and it was a clear precise, consistent answers. And that's what we were looking for."
Felder’s attorney said Friday night’s church meeting was not a campaign event. However, fliers posted on social media indicated the political ad was paid for by Felder’s campaign.
The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office’s Public Integrity Unit is handling the scooter accident case right now. Investigators are processing Felder’s car, among other evidence.
"Kevin's got his side," resident Donald Payton said. "The kid's got his side. And you've got the truth."